‘I was not happy’ – Jurgen Klopp criticises Liverpool players for conceding chances in win over Southampton

Liverpool put four goals past Southampton to go second in the Premier League table (Picture: Getty)

Jurgen Klopp once again proved he is the ultimate perfectionist in the wake of Liverpool’s comprehensive 4-0 victory over Southampton, chastising his players for giving away too many chances across the 90 minutes.

Diogo Jota completed a brace to give Liverpool a two-goal advantage inside 32 minutes and Thiago Alcantara and Virgil van Dijk netted either side of the break to put the hosts out of sight at Anfield.

The result saw the Reds leapfrog Manchester City into second place in the Premier League table, with Klopp’s men riding a three-match winning streak following their disappointing 3-2 defeat at West Ham.

An injury-plagued Liverpool endured a miserable period between December and March last season, but finished strongly to secure third place and Champions League football.

It’s been some turnaround for the Merseyside giants over the last 12 months, who look to be putting in the kind of frightening performances they produced on a consistent basis across their title-winning campaign two years ago.

Asked about Liverpool’s current form compared to last term at his post-match press conference, Klopp said: ‘It’s not so easy to talk about football games when we lose them like we did last season so often in a specific period of the season, but I knew what we were lacking.

‘We were lacking stability, we didn’t have stability. Not because we had no centre-backs for a while and had to find solutions for that, the problem was that we were shocked that we could not play the football we wanted to play.

‘We didn’t have the stability which we have now, obviously, where everybody knows exactly what they have to do.

‘When you put midfielders back in the last line, then you put midfielders in the line who usually don’t play there or are protected by either [Jordan] Henderson or Fabinho and now they play double six or these kind of things so that’s a problem and all of a sudden you lose your rhythm.

‘We had to find solutions and thank god we found solutions early enough to qualify for the Champions League.

‘This year we had a proper pre-season which was incredibly helpful, especially up front with Sadio [Mane] and Mo [Salah]. They had the longest pre-season they’ve had for ages so we could really work on a lot of things and find the stability.’

Jota scored a first-half double at Anfield (Picture: Getty)

Though pleased with the win, Klopp felt there was plenty of room for improvement from a defensive perspective after his players allowed the visiting Saints to take seven shots at goal.

‘Talking about stability, I was not happy with the chances we conceded today to be honest,’ the German added.

‘I have no problem with Ali making saves in a football game, but these saves were too spectacular so we have to really work on that.

‘We have to be as stable, serious, ruthless defensively as possible.

‘That then gives us the platform to play football and then we can create and score. It will not be forever like this that we score two goals per game, but it happened so far and so that’s good.

‘But if we win a game 1-0 then I’m happy as well.’

Thiago scored Liverpool’s third just before the half-time break (Picture: Getty)

Klopp reserved special praise for Jota and said the Portuguese forward had ‘everything’ required to play for a club of Liverpool’s stature.

‘He’s an exceptional player and an exceptional boy,’ he went on.

‘He’s the perfect signing because he has everything that a Liverpool player in this squad needs.

‘He has technical skills, he has the physical and he’s very smart, he can learn all the tactical stuff pretty quick.

‘On top of that, he can play all three positions so he’s very helpful. He has the speed and desire to finish situations off.

‘His goalscoring record is pretty impressive if I’m right. Unfortunately, he had a big injury last year and that is never helpful, but he’s back and fits really well in this team and I’m really happy for him.’

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