Jurgen Klopp: “We Stopped Playing Football in the Second Half”

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It wasn’t as devastating for Liverpool as May 5 of 2014, but it certainly evoked a few memories of that total disaster. Last night, in UEFA Champions League Group E action, Liverpool squandered a 3-0 lead at Sevilla, only to finish in a 3-3 draw. It was the exact same thing that occurred at Crystal Palace during the final stretch of the 2013-14 season, and it effectively ended their Premier League title hopes that season.

The Reds 3-0 lead last night continued into the 50′ when Wissam Ben Yedder opened the scoring for the hosts. Then the collapse continued, prompting Reds manager Jurgen Klopp to say “we stopped playing football in the second half.

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Liverpool left back Alberto Moreno called the second half “awful” and added that “we came out half asleep in the second half” against his former team. It was exactly the kind of nightmarish result that Liverpool was trying to avoid at all costs.

Jurgen Klopp said in an interview with BT Sport:

“It’s a very good first half and not that good second half. We stopped playing football in the second half. We let them come back in the game. With this crowd behind their back, things like this can happen.”

“We did it already the other way around. You like this when you can change the game and come back in the game. When you are the winning team then you should avoid it, and we didn’t.

“We have a real weapon and that’s playing football. We didn’t do it in the second half until we conceded the second goal. After that, we came back and had our chances a little bit. We didn’t use them, so they could do what they did in the last minute.”

Liverpool could have punched their ticket to the Champions League knockout round with a win, had they were leading all the way up until the third minute of extra time, when Guido Pizarro equalized for the Spanish side.

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They remain on top of group E, one point ahead of Sevilla, with one game remaining for both. The Reds are still likely to move on to the knockout round, and they can make that happen when they take host Spartak Moscow on December 6. Flashing back to 2014 at Palace, the Eagles were down 3-0 in the 78′ before starting the run that would tie the game, and end Liverpool’s title hopes in just 11 minutes. So last night was still not as bad.

Jurgen Klopp says he doesn’t think complacency was the issue during the second half on Tuesday night.

“It was absolutely OK that we are confident after that first half. We were in two situations obviously too late in the second half, not only Alberto, the whole formation was too late in this situation,” the German continued.

“That’s obvious what we did. The real problem is that we stopped playing football. We had to close the game.”

uefa champions league

“Our main mistake was that we didn’t play football anymore. We wanted to control it, but we got too passive and a little bit too deep, so they had their situations. They fought back and that’s a big credit to them. We had to do it different.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.

Follow him on TwitterInstagramSound Cloud, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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