Jürgen Klopp frustrated by Liverpool's poor defending "in all parts" in heavy Tottenham defeat

All four goals that Liverpool conceded at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday were avoidable in the eyes of Jürgen Klopp, who also refused to single out Dejan Lovren - substituted off after only 31 minutes - from criticism as he lamented his entire team's defensive display.

Jürgen Klopp frustrated by Liverpool's poor defending "in all parts" in heavy Tottenham defeat
(Picture: Getty Images - Richard Heathcote)

Jürgen Klopp could not hide his frustrations at the basic defensive errors of his Liverpool side as they were resoundingly beaten by Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium.

The Reds conceded three or more goals for the third time in just nine Premier League games, having now leaked 16 in total - their worst top-flight total since 1964-65.

Harry Kane netted a brace while Heung-min Son and Dele Alli also scored as Liverpool suffered yet another heavy defeat after a week that had raised confidence.

Only the Merseyside outfit's own poor finishing denied them a win over Manchester United before their attack finally found full gear in a 7-0 thrashing of Maribor in the Champions League.

But Klopp must now engineer another return to confidence as his Liverpool side - without back-to-back wins in all competitions now since August 27 - look to bounce back from such a setback.

Reds boss: Error-prone defending is my responsibility

Talking to the press afterwards, an exasperated Klopp insisted: "It's all our responsibility, what you saw today. Today you saw two teams with a lot of potential. I don't use this to say that 'oh, we were very good' or whatever, because we weren't, it's only that everybody could see the potential, even of my side.

"But in all the decisive moments we were not there. It's difficult to talk about because I don't want to create headlines which don't help us, but today it was just poor defending in all parts and in the decisive parts it was like this."

Klopp bemoaned that all four goals Liverpool gave up were far too cheap and insisted a side of Spurs' quality were always going to punish them.

"The first goal, it's unbelievably easy to defend," he said. "When Harry has the ball, it's not easy anymore, but before, it is the easiest. It's a close, small space, we only have to clear the ball but we don't do it.

"The second goal, all our analysis, all we knew before the game, it was clear Tottenham would play in situations like this. When you then saw the line-up, it was 100 per-cent clear we had to protect all our offensive things, what we do.

"We make a cross, not a bad cross, but we overlap in a situation when the ball is already away. We miss the moment. It was not possible for counter-pressing I think.

"Usually, we all know Dejan would make a header in this situation. He missed the ball. And on the other side, Son, because he's in a better position and he's very quick, it's not to stop anymore, so an easy goal.

"Third goal, another present, we have the ball and lose it, give away a free-kick off it, make a foul. But then it's a free-kick going nowhere. It was nothing. We make the header in the middle of the park and have nobody for the second ball.

"Everything that happened today was so obvious. It was bad in these moments. The fourth one just happened like it was today. Even then we had chances, that's just a result of the potential of the team.

"But you cannot get results with a performance like today against a team like Tottenham, they were completely spot-on and obviously we weren't. And that's my responsibility."

"Lovren no worse than any other of our other defenders"

Asked whether his decision to substitute the under-fire Lovren after only 31 minutes was tactical, Klopp admitted: "Yes, but I really don’t want to blame players. Dejan, to be honest, was not worse than Joël [Matip].

"We had to change something, we tried to make sure that we are a little bit more stabilised. It was less about the centre-half position with Joe [Gomez] there, it was more that we needed more protection in the half-space.

"In this case, [we tried] with Emre - which actually didn't work too well - but that was the idea behind it.

"I could've taken another player off and it would not have been the biggest difference; we still conceded two more goals after Dejan left the pitch.

"Obviously it was not the biggest influence, that's how it is. I think he feels not good, that's okay. Nobody should feel good in the moment who is part of the squad."

Klopp also refused to confirm or deny whether Gomez would receive more opportunities at centre-back in the coming weeks, insisting those who train the best will start at the back.

He explained: "We have a pretty much normal week with no game in mid-week, which means we have a lot of time to train and that's what we will do.

"It's an open race if you want; who shows to me that he wants to play. I don't like situations like this, but it is like this – who shows me he is ready to show a reaction. We have to show a reaction.

"We cannot only say, 'Okay, now it is Anfield and now it is Huddersfield' or whatever. We have no right for doing that. We have to really to show a reaction. That’s the thing we have to do and I don't give any position to any player in this moment."