NOTTINGHAM (Reuters) – Juergen Klopp was left scratching his head as Liverpool’s recent revival came to a shuddering halt with a shock 1-0 defeat at the Premier League’s bottom club Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
Liverpool, seeking a third successive league win, were without several injured players and were below-par at the City Ground but still contrived to waste several gilt-edged chances.
Virgil van Dijk was one of the worst culprits, squandering two great opportunities while having another header in stoppage time sensationally saved by Forest keeper Dean Henderson.
“The performance I can kind of explain, the result not to be honest. I never saw a game where one team has four or five no-brainers from a set piece where we have to finish it off,” Klopp said. “We had to put the game to bed to be perfectly honest.”
Liverpool were dealt a blow with Thiago ruled out with an ear infection on the morning of the game and striker Darwin Nunez, who scored the winner against West Ham United in midweek, failing a late fitness test after picking up a knock.
Klopp’s side are also without injured striker Diogo Jota but still fielded a side packed with quality.
“We had to make really late changes and in general a lot of changes and it’s a game you have to win doing the right stuff again and again and again and we didn’t,” Klopp said.
“That’s why we stand here and have lost the game. Result-wise we should have showed consistency today. We could have had it by finishing situations off.”
Liverpool’s third defeat of the season left them in seventh place on 16 points from 11 games, 11 points behind leaders Arsenal and potentially 10 behind champions Manchester City.
“Massive, massive blow because I have no idea how we can lose this game to be honest,” Klopp said.
“With all the changes we had to make and with the intense week behind us it was clear we had to make a fight of it. The boys did that.”
(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar)