Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has bemoaned the lack of "proper defending" from his midfielders in Saturday's 5-0 defeat against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
The visitors saw Sadio Mane sent off in the first half for a dangerous challenge on goalkeeper Ederson, and fell to a heavy loss.
And Klopp has claimed that his midfielders should take as much responsibility as the defenders for the number of goals conceded.
“If we lose the ball in the middle, then they can play the ball there,” said Klopp, quoted by the Liverpool Echo. “City are always playing like this. They use opportunities like this pretty well.
“The first goal was so easy to defend... push up! Then two players are offside.
“But we didn't, and that's what the first half was like, we weren't compact enough and didn't cause them enough problems. I was not happy, but I also realise we had those kind of situations going forward too.
“City is very offensive-oriented and we are very offensive-oriented. And if players are properly defending in midfield (you have a better chance) – we are usually much better at that than we were against City.
“You can win games like this, but we had no chance against City with one man down. But can we play better against City with one man down? Yes, for sure.”
Klopp also revealed that Liverpool had not "spotted a weakness" in City defender Nicolas Otamendi, who struggled to deal with the runs of Mohamed Salah.
“Spotted? That's not too respectful,” said Klopp. “For everybody in the world, it's difficult if you cannot avoid a pass. That's how defending works. You have to avoid the pass, because in the end Otamendi cannot make Salah slower.
“If we can play the pass, then Salah is away. That's not Otamendi's fault. That's how I see it. That's why you need to be compact and avoid passes like this.”
Klopp added: “Losing 5-0 feels really bad, but at one point I knew with the way things were going that it was not our day, 100%.
“Unfortunately, I have had few days like this as a manager. Not at Liverpool, thank God.
“I was with Dortmund against Bayern, when we lost 5-1, which we should have won! Nobody will remember this, but it was like this.
“Things like this happen. It was really bad, but we have to take the blame for everything that you saw on Saturday. That's how life is.
“Two weeks ago we got all the credit (for beating Arsenal), now we have to take the not so nice part of criticism.”