Jürgen Klopp says Liverpool 'have to respond' after defeat to Manchester United
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Jürgen Klopp says Liverpool 'have to respond' after defeat to Manchester United

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp believes his side must respond after their 2-1 defeat to Manchester United on Saturday.

Joshua Kerr

Jürgen Klopp has demanded a big response from his Liverpool team who were beaten 2-1 by bitter rivals Manchester United as the German manager still looks for his first victory in the league over the 13-time Premier League champions.

The Reds left Old Trafford empty handed as the race for second place shifted towards Manchester United after a Marcus Rashford brace inspired Jose Mourinho's side to all three points on Saturday.

The defeat means that Liverpool have won only one in ten of their league encounters with United as Mourinho got the better of Klopp tactically on the day to deliver the former Borrusia Dortmund manager only his fourth league defeat of the season.

Liverpool conceded two goals in almost identical positions as twice Dejan Lovren was bullied off the ball by a superb Romelu Lukaku as Rashford made Klopp's team pay for their mistakes as he took both his goals superbly. 

Must respond 

The Reds have made a habit of responding positively to setbacks in the Premier League this season - and Klopp is determined to ensure his team respond against Watford on Saturday. 

October’s defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley was preceded by a 14-game unbeaten winning-run in the league, and Klopp’s team took four wins and a draw from their next five Premier League clashes following a disappointing 1-0 loss to a relegation fighting Swansea City in January.

Klopp will strive to get Liverpool back on track when Watford visit Anfield on Saturday and has demanded a familiar response to previous setbacks in the Premier League at the weekend.

“We have to respond, 100 percent,” the manager told LiverpoolFC.com after the 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford.

“But at the moment I cannot, and I don’t want to, think about anything else. I still have to work to swallow this one and it’s quite difficult.”

"I thought we were dominant"

After dominating possession for most of the game, Klopp felt the Reds had total control for large periods, but said their good work was undone by the collective errors that gifted Rashford two goals in the first-half.

“It’s really difficult to take. The mistakes were obvious - around the second balls we were not there and we cannot leave Dejan alone in the challenge there and nobody’s around for the second ball. It doesn’t work like this,” Klopp added.

“Romelu Lukaku is strong in these challenges, so if you cannot avoid the long ball then you have to be there to help your mate for the second ball. We didn’t, so that was the problem around the two goals [and] they could use these situations.

“Before the two goals, after the two goals, I thought we were dominant. We don’t ignore the goals we conceded, but if you ignore them for a second you would say, ‘OK, that’s how you have to play’. 

The German boss continued: “Don’t take too much risk, you pass, you come around the touchline, you have the crosses, you have the set-pieces, you have the finishes from distance, 18 yards, all these things. We had these things in pretty much all moments, but we didn’t score. 

“Because we put pressure on ourselves obviously, that is not helpful for your confidence if you are 2-0 down at Manchester. So we passed, crossed a few balls that were not too good but [then] we found our way back on track minute by minute and second half we chased the game really. 

“I think we deserved the goal and then it was the situation with the best piece of football in the whole game, the one-two between Roberto and Sadio and a clear foul and no penalty. That’s hard, but not to change anymore"

Klopp added: "I think with all the minutes around the two goals we conceded then a draw would have been deserved for us, but because we made these two mistakes we have to take the result like it is. 

“It feels massively rubbish and that’s not nice. We will carry on of course, but at the moment it’s a big disappointment.”

Liverpool will turn their attention the Saturday's clash with the Hornets as they look to get back to winning ways against a side who will also be looking to respond after their 3-0 defeat to Arsenal on Sunday.