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Wednesday 7 December 2016

Klopp takes aim at misfiring reds

Liverpool manager blasts costly mistakes in Burnley defeat

Ireland international Stephen Ward (r) celebrates with team-mates (l-r) Andre Gray and Sam Vokes in the win over Liverpool at Turf Moor on Saturday. Pic: Reuters
Ireland international Stephen Ward (r) celebrates with team-mates (l-r) Andre Gray and Sam Vokes in the win over Liverpool at Turf Moor on Saturday. Pic: Reuters
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, pictured after Saturday’s defeat to Burnley.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp blamed his players' poor decision-making for not making the most of 81 per cent possession in the 2-0 defeat at Burnley.

Klopp's side never recovered from the second-minute goal by Sam Vokes and, when Andre Gray doubled the hosts' advantage just before half-time, the visitors' job was made even more difficult as the Clarets put men behind the ball and conceded territory.

It proved an effective tactic as the Reds struggled to create any genuine chances, with 25 shots bringing just five on target but none that really troubled goalkeeper Tom Heaton.

"It was a difficult game for us but in the decision-making we passed the ball in the wrong moments. We had counter-attacks for the first and second goals but even at half-time I still thought there was something in the game for us," Klopp said.

"The first half was not for growing self-confidence and we lost timing and patience and it was not our best timing offensively. It was not good.

"We had 80 per cent possession but it (Burnley's) is a different way to play football and it is absolutely okay.

"It is not allowed that you suffer under your own poor possession because it makes no sense.

"Usually in a game like this we win if we don't make the mistakes in the wrong moment, but we did and now we have to accept the result and carry on."

Early

After a thrilling 4-3 win at Arsenal last weekend, Klopp felt his side lost faith after going behind so early. There was a lot of time left to win the game. Life is not over," the German added.

"I saw some really good crosses into the box where no-one was in the box. I saw shots when the box was full.

"In the last moment we were not where we should have been - that was the problem.

"Our timing and decision-making was not very good. That may have been forced by the result (score) and the passion of the opponent."

Meanwhile, Burnley striker Gray was haunted by his past on the day he achieved his dream of scoring for the first time in the Premier League.

The 25-year-old sprung out of non-league football two years ago when leaving Luton for Brentford, and since a switch to Burnley 12 months later he has become a key Claret.

Gray said it felt "crazy" to hit the back of the net for the first time in the top flight, after netting in the 2-0 win over Liverpool, but the goal was soon overshadowed when it came to light that he had posted homophobic tweets four years ago. He apologised in a statement on Saturday night and asked for "forgiveness", saying he was a changed man to the one who put up the messages.

Gray was playing non-league football for Hinckley when he posted the offensive tweets. At the end of a day that Gray hoped would be remembered for a landmark goal in his career, he was making headlines for distinctly unsavoury reasons.

"I want to offer a sincere and unreserved apology to anybody I may have offended in relation to these tweets," he said.

"The tweets were posted four years ago when I was a completely different person to the man I am now."

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