Jurgen Klopp Defends Decision to Leave Philippe Coutinho Out of Man City Match
Jurgen Klopp has defended his decision to leave midfielder Philippe Coutinho out of his Liverpool side's defeat to Manchester City on Saturday afternoon.
Speaking after the game, the Reds manager insisted that one player was unlikely to have made the difference in the humbling 5-0 loss - saying that the decision was one taken with the long-term view in mind.
“I’m not sure it’s quite that easy," he said, "but if it is that easy - if we bring him in and then everything is great again - then that's cool. With Phil, we didn’t always create more chances against City in the past. Yes, we scored more often in some games. But this was the decision we took [to leave him out].
“If people blame me for this, no problem, but it was a decision taken for the season. He came back after a long flight, after three weeks without playing. We have matches next Wednesday, next Saturday - we play, play, play, so we thought ‘Let’s give him three or four days’ proper training - and then he’s available for us’.”
Dejan Lovren was dropped to the bench for the game at the bench in favour of a starting spot for Ragnar Klavan, and Klopp admitted that his side could and should have done better at the back.
“We were never compact enough," he said. "To defend, we needed to be compact to cause them more problems. I was not happy with that. Can we play better? Yes, for sure. Things like this happen.
"It’s really bad, and we have to take the blame for everything that we saw. A couple of weeks ago [beating Arsenal 4-0] we got all the credit. This time we have to take the not-so-nice part, which is criticism. But we know about it.”