Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has shared what he said to his players as they trailed at half-time against Fulham this afternoon.
The Reds went into the break behind to an Aleksandar Mitrovic goal at Craven Cottage. And speaking to Liverpool FC on YouTube after the game, Klopp said that he tried to change ‘everything’ at half-time.
“Everything, we tried to change everything (at half-time). Just, the direction of the game and lift the mood,” said Klopp.
“You could see (the player’s were saying) the ball is not rolling, come on boys, we have another 50 minutes. We can lose here but we should at least come close to 20 per cent of our potential, so far it was seven (percent). So let’s at least try to increase our chances to make a good game step by step.”
Whatever Klopp said at half-time had some kind of effect, as Liverpool scored twice in the second-half. Unfortunately, the performance level remained largely the same though, and The Reds had to share the points.
Liverpool lose the midfield battle at Craven Cottage
If last week’s win over Manchester City suggested that Liverpool were ready for the new season, then today did the absolute opposite.
Liverpool were second best to everything in the opening exchanges against Fulham. The hosts eagerness and energy set the tone for a day of struggle for Klopp’s side.
Usually, it tends to be the other way around. It’s Liverpool who are doing the smothering, and opposition teams simply cannot cope.
The shoe was on the other foot today, though. In particular, Liverpool looked to lose the midfield battle. Thiago Alcantara and Fabinho weren’t afforded the space to be at their usual best, while Jordan Henderson couldn’t get going either.
This is usually where Liverpool set the pace for the game. As they couldn’t do that, it fed into a disjointed display from other areas of the pitch, too.
The afternoon was compounded when Thiago was withdrawn with injury early in the second-half.
It remains to be seen how long the Spain international will be missing for. But should he be absent for any length of time, Liverpool’s insistence on not signing a midfielder this summer could be put to the test.
Better days surely ahead for Liverpool, but not a good start to the season.