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English Premier League 2016-17

Juergen Klopp laments ‘passive’ Liverpool after Swansea City shock defeat

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 January, 2017, 12:25pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 January, 2017, 12:25pm

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp berated his side’s “passive” defending after a 3-2 loss at home to Swansea City dealt a major blow to their Premier League title hopes.

Relegation-threatened Swansea became the first away team to win a league fixture at Anfield for more than a year as Fernando Llorente scored twice on Saturday before Gylfi Sigurdsson struck the winner 16 minutes from time.

Once again Liverpool looked good going forward in a match where two Roberto Firmino goals saw the Reds recover from a 2-0 deficit.

But German manager Klopp was infuriated by the Merseysiders’ display at the other end of the pitch as they missed the chance to close to within four points of leaders Chelsea.

“We showed again that when we are on track, we are a strong side and can really create chances and score goals,” he said.

“But the defending around all three goals today was not good enough – 100 per cent. That’s a very important part of the game and it was very disappointing today.”

Swansea pull off sensational giant-killing act with win over Liverpool

Klopp was particularly unhappy with the slack marking from a Sigurdsson corner that left Llorente unattended to score Swansea’s opener.

“We lose the first challenge after the corner and I didn’t see how Llorente could be completely alone in the six-yard box and score the goal,” fumed Klopp. “It’s pretty difficult to overlook him, huh?”

Watch: Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp

As for Swansea’s winner, Klopp added: “There was nearly everything wrong around this goal. I think it started with a long ball that was not really a surprise. They played a few of these.

“We strolled back. We scored and we couldn’t switch to the defensive mode. That was the biggest mistake in this situation.

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“We were passive. They took the opportunity. In the end, there was a Swansea player free in our box. That makes no sense.”

Swansea’s first league victory at Anfield was a huge boost in their battle to beat the drop.

New manager Paul Clement said he hoped Llorente, who has been linked with a move to Chelsea, will stay at the Liberty Stadium after arriving from Sevilla in August.

“I think his performance was very good,” said Clement, who was particularly impressed with the Spaniard’s hold-up play and ability to bring other Swansea players into the game.

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“If you get the right kind of service into him, he’s also a goalscorer. But you have to give him service. That can come from set-plays or from crosses.

“Am I afraid to lose him? I want to keep him here. And the reason I want to keep him here is what he showed today.”

Watch: Swansea City goalscorer Fernando Llorente

Swansea’s win was only their fifth in 22 Premier League games this season, but Clement believes they have the resolve to stay up.

“I think the mindset of the group, certainly since I’ve been here, has been that anything is possible,” he said.

“But our main objective is that we’re not going to look at the table, we’re not going to talk about how many wins we need, how many points we need. Let’s just focus on delivering some performances.”