Jurgen Klopp more upset over Liverpool defence than VAR call

A 3-2 Europa League defeat to Toulouse was compounded by defensive errors

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said defensive lapses were to blame for Thursday's Europa League defeat to Toulouse. AP
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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he took more umbrage with his side's defensive failings than a contentious VAR call denying his side against Toulouse.

Individual mistakes and a lack of collective cohesion saw the hosts take a 3-1 lead in Thursday's Europa League group match but Diogo Jota’s 89th-minute strike, after Cristian Casseres’ own goal had got them back into the game, set up a dramatic conclusion.

In the seventh and final minute of added time 20-year-old centre-back Jarell Quansah thought he had equalised but after a long delay referee Georgi Kabakov was advised to go to the pitchside monitor and he ruled Alexis Mac Allister had handled the ball in the move for the goal.

“I only saw the video back now and for me it’s not a handball – but how can I decide that?” said Klopp.

“Actually, I am a bit more concerned about [the fact that] I would have loved us to have played better, to be honest. That’s my main issue tonight.

“In the end, we were intense, we threw everything in, but the problem is in a football game you have to make the decisive things in the right moment to do them right.”

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Liverpool’s problem was a lack of any rhythm, and their cause was not helped by Kostas Tsimikas’ costly error that allowed Toulouse to take a 36th-minute lead.

The Greek defender dawdled on the ball and was dispossessed by Aron Donnum, who raced clear and slotted past Caoimhin Kelleher with the aid of a deflection.

“We cannot concede the goals we conceded again,” added Klopp.

“The first goal can happen, but then it happened in the second half with similar situations: we were completely open, last line too deep, counter-attack.

“They scored five goals, two disallowed, and that is obviously then not good. Yes, the result is the opposite of good, but the performance was just not good enough.

“It was well deserved to lose because they won pretty much all the decisive battles. We had too many situations where we should have won the ball but we didn’t.

“On top of that we gave the ball away easily at least twice – one was a goal, the other I am not sure if it was an allowed goal or a disallowed goal.

“Defending-wise it was just not good enough.”

Updated: November 10, 2023, 11:43 AM