Liverpool looked to have put the loss to AFC Bournemouth last weekend behind them when Adam Lallana opened the scoring within five minutes in front of a packed Anfield, but Dimitri Payet’s well struck free-kick quickly restored parity before Michail Antonio capitalized on some shambolic defending to send West Ham United in to the break with an unlikely lead. Divock Origi ensured the Reds shared the spoils with an opportunistic effort early in the second, but winless in their past two, questions about their ability to issue a sustained challenge at the top continue to go unanswered.
“Yes it’s a negative thing that we didn’t win, but it’s still a point so it’s kind of mixed emotions,” said Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, speaking to the press at Melwood. “Being one goal down in a game against West Ham with their style of play, with their situation in the table plus the quality they have usually – it is really difficult to play against them,” continued the German manager. “We tried everything but of course you can say in this situation we could have done better, that’s for sure the case but first of all you need to find solutions.”
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Coming off an unbeaten run that stretched back to August, Liverpool looked to be in tip-top shape going in to last weekend’s meeting with the Cherries, but after leaving Dean Court with nothing to show for the trip to the South Coast, their flagging confidence looks to have rolled over in to their meeting with the Hammers — a side who knows a thing or two about struggling to get back to winning ways. Defensive frailties and the role of Reds ‘keeper Loris Karius will be the main talking points going in to Wednesday’s meeting with Middlesbrough FC, now’s not the time to be laying blame; it’s not always the best attitude to take, but things, it has to be said, could be worse.
“It’s difficult to stay in the race with Chelsea when they win everything, which we obviously haven’t!” explained Klopp. “When we were first or second I didn’t think about it, which is what I said. I am pretty sure I said this is the moment to collect points as much as possible,” added the Reds boss. It is all good in the moment apart from the results in the last two games, but in both – in big part of the games – we were the much better team. That’s an important thing,” mused Klopp, providing some much needed perspective. “We are still on a very good way, we are not first in the table, we are third – but a lot of teams should feel worse and everything is good in the moment.”