Jürgen Klopp insists he can "easily live" with Chelsea draw despite Liverpool conceding late on again

Jürgen Klopp praised Liverpool's performance but came away frustrated by the result after they drew late on at home to Chelsea, though admitted he can "easily live" with a point against the reigning Premier League champions.

Jürgen Klopp insists he can "easily live" with Chelsea draw despite Liverpool conceding late on again
(Picture: Getty Images - Paul Ellis)

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp insisted that he can "easily live" with a draw to Chelsea despite acknowledging the disappointment of the manner in which his side squandered three points.

For the second time this week, the Reds let slip a lead late on - Willian's cross-shot getting the better of Simon Mignolet and looping into the far corner in the 85th minute.

Victory would have taken the Merseyside club into fourth place and level on points with Chelsea in third, but their defence could not hold out against the visitors at Anfield - their back-line's susceptibilities having also cost them against Sevilla on Tuesday.

Offering up his opinion afterwards, Klopp told reporters: "Good game. Very intense game. Very difficult for us against what everybody knows is a very strong Chelsea team with quite a different approach tonight; deep defending and then giving the ball to Eden Hazard. Wow. Not too bad, to be honest!"

The German insisted that "it was not the most thankful job to defend him alone" and that it was "more easy" with a second player and that then with a third they "have a good chance."

But Klopp also noted Álvaro Morata's involvement and said with the Spaniard "running around" too it was "quite difficult" and his side "had to work really hard in these situations" as well as to "stay cool" while "playing football."

"We did it, so I am happy about big parts of the performance," he continued, declaring himself "really proud of the attitude" and stating that "both teams were, attitude-wise, really on a high level."

He added: "I think in weeks like this it could be different, not for us and not for, unfortunately, Chelsea tonight. So both teams had a big, big investment in this game. Everything was good until Willian crossed the ball."

He noted that in spite of Chelsea's leveller, "most parts of the game are still good" but that with only a point instead of three, "it doesn't feel that well" which he said it "how it is."

But refusing to be too downhearted, Klopp continued: "The world is a strange and crazy place at the moment, there are so many much more important things that happened, crazy things are happening, so I can easily live with a point against Chelsea."

 

"We stopped Hazard making a difference"

Hazard appeared the game's most likely game-changer after an influential first-half in which he created the best opportunity, putting Danny Drinkwater clear on goal only for Simon Mignolet to save.

Klopp refuted suggestions his game plan was to prevent Hazard from having an important say on the game and said that they "had no clue" how Chelsea would line up.

He suspected they might "have the extra problem with [Cesc] Fábregas" and not that they would have an issue playing against the creative Spanish midfielder but that they they would have to be cautious about "where the ball is in protection."

"It is not that difficult to be in the right space, the problem is in the moment he [Hazard] gets the ball, the difficulties start immediately," Klopp accepted. "But with all the skills he has, he couldn’t make the difference tonight because we stopped him."

He said that they had to "think about all of them" because of the Londoners' many attacking threats but praised Liverpool for defending "compact" and doing "really well."

Klopp suggested: "I think a lot of people wrote a lot about Alberto Moreno after the last game, so hopefully they think now again, 'wow, what a reaction' because it’s not normal to do it like this. He was 100 per cent in the game, it was nice to see and I am happy for him."

 

Reds boss frustrated by Oliver's substitution rebuff

Adam Lallana was readied to come on late on but Michael Oliver rejected Liverpool's attempts to bring on the midfielder, with Willian then scoring before he could be introduced.

The midfielder made his first appearance of the campaign after missing almost four months with a thigh injury, but Klopp was frustrated that he could not bring Lallana on at the time which he had hoped.

He told reporters to "maybe ask the ref" why Lallana's substitution was delayed, insisting they did not want to do it to run down the lock but instead they "wanted to change the system."

"We wanted to bring a player and that means we have to give advice and he [Oliver] said 'no'," Klopp said. "After the game I was not happy with it because we wanted to change, what we did afterwards, to five at the back. In my mind, Ragnar Klavan would have been exactly in the position where Willian crossed the ball, that means we would've blocked the cross."

The 50-year-old insisted that it "doesn't feel too well" that Liverpool could not make their desired changes because "the ref thought maybe it was time [wasting] play or something else. I have no idea why he said 'no'."

Klopp revealed that in conversation with the match official afterwards, Oliver insisted the goal was four minutes after the effort to bring on Lallana, the manager reacting: "It didn't make my feeling much better, to be honest."

Klopp not thinking about gap to leaders City

He was also asked about front-runners Manchester City, who can move 14 points ahead of Liverpool with a win at Huddersfield Town on Sunday afternoon.

But Klopp insisted it would be "really crazy" for them to be thinking about City because they need to focus on winning games and their "own targets."

"Today, I didn't think for a second after the game about Manchester City; what I really thought was that we should have won the game. Then we would have had three points more and we would have been even with Chelsea and that would have been nice," he lamented.

Klopp called Liverpool's current standing "still okay" but warned they "have to improve" because they "can do better."

He said: "A performance like tonight should not be taken for granted because it is so difficult. A lot of things could have happened and the boys did really well, so I am happy about that but I am not happy about the result."