English Premier League 2016-17

Passion beats possession: Juergen Klopp baffled by Liverpool meltdown in defeat at Burnley

Sam Vokes and Andre Gray scored as the newly-promoted Premier League club won 2-0 at Turf Moor despite the visitors enjoying over 80 percent of possession

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 August, 2016, 2:35pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 21 August, 2016, 10:39pm

Juergen Klopp admitted he was baffled by Liverpool’s surprise defeat at Burnley in which they enjoyed over 80 percent of possession, but still lost 2-0 to the newly-promoted Premier League club.

Reds boss Klopp confessed he thought his team had actually seen more like 90 percent of the ball at Turf Moor on Saturday, but they failed to create a single noteworthy chance as first half goals from Sam Vokes and Andre Gray earned Sean Dyche’s team their first points of the season.

“How can I be happy with this?” Klopp said. “When we gave away the first goal they defended for their lives. Both of their strikers Andre Gray and Sam Vokes are really hard workers.

“We had absolutely no luck and everybody needs to be more clinical. We have to accept it. Burnley deserved to win with a very passionate performance. We have to say it was not enough today.

“We know we lost a game in which we had 80 percent possession today but there are different ways to play football.

“That’s okay. But when we conceded the early goal, life was not over, we had a lot of time to win the game.

“Even at half-time, I felt we still had the possibility of it. But our timing and decision making really was not good.”

Klopp was critical of his team’s defensive efforts in the opening 4-3 victory at Arsenal and, after conceding a further two goals at Turf Moor, Liverpool have kept just two clean sheets in their last 13 league games.

“We saw the situations coming around the goals but that doesn’t mean you should still concede the goals,” he said.

“It was a difficult game for us, we passed the ball, lost the ball at the wrong moments.

“The first half was not good for growing self-confidence, we lost a little bit of our timing, patience, all that stuff.

“Usually, in a game like this, you win if you don’t make mistakes at the wrong moment but we did. We have to accept the result and carry on.”

Meanwhile, Burnley boss Dyche was dismissive of the statistic of possession and pointed out that, as his team proved emphatically against Liverpool, it often has little bearing on the result of a game.

“Possession doesn’t win you games,” Dyche said. “That myth came out a few years ago and Leicester proved it was a myth last year.

“Liverpool had five or six men in midfield at all times and if I did that I would have the ball for a long time. But that doesn’t win you the game. I want to penetrate, create and take chances.

“I don’t think there will be many teams who get the ball as much as Liverpool, they get so many bodies in there.

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“It takes concentration and focus from the players to see through that and see they’re not hurting us that much and that we will have breakaways and counters.”

Dyche could take particular pleasure, not only in securing a first victory of the campaign at just the second time of asking, but also in seeing his two forwards get off the mark - in the case of Vokes, ending a 27-game run without a Premier League goal dating back to 2009.

“Both strikers are off the mark and they feel good about it,” Dyche said.

“The win was important because it means you [media] don’t keep dragging up the statistic of how long since we won.

“But it’s just the psychology of it. Getting that win clears your minds.

“We know there is work to do, we are still in the market, want to keep improving but it will do the lads the world of good.”