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Jurgen Klopp: ‘Napoli defeat was my worst game at Liverpool’

Jurgen Klopp: ‘Napoli defeat was my worst game at Liverpool’

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes that last week’s Champions League defeat to Napoli was his “worst game” since being appointed Reds manager.

The stuttering Merseyside giants were on the back foot after just five minutes at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, with Piotr Zielinski netting from the spot after James Milner‘s handball.

Before the Polish midfielder added a second for himself on the night, Giovanni Simeone and Andre Zambo Anguissa also struck in the first half for Luciano Spalletti‘s side.

Luis Diaz managed to grab a consolation for Liverpool, but his strike paled into insignificance in that 4-1 defeat, and the Reds will aim to bounce back against Ajax at Anfield on Tuesday night.

Klopp has now taken charge of 389 games for Liverpool since arriving in October 2015, and the 55-year-old believes that last week’s defeat was the worst of the bunch so far.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp pictured on September 7, 2022© Reuters

Speaking to reporters at Monday’s press conference, Klopp said: “We had a meeting with the players – I have watched the Napoli game back many times – it was a real horror show.

“It was the worst game we’ve played since I’ve been here. You have to understand why that happened. Eight out of 11 were absolutely below their level, the rest not on their top level, just a normal game. We have to follow a common idea again.

“How can you get confidence in football? By winning challenges. We all have to realise it starts with defending and that’s what we do to give ourselves a chance. It’s the start of everything. If we do that, we can get momentum.”

In contrast, Ajax opened their European campaign with a 4-0 success over Rangers, but Klopp is optimistic that the Anfield crowd will play a part as his side seek to right the wrongs of matchday one.

“We have to show a reaction – Ajax are in the opposite situation – they are in a really good moment,” the 55-year-old added.

“The situation about the group is not massively helpful but it’s a home game in the Champions League. We have to make sure we play different to Napoli and then we’ll see.”

Liverpool's Fabio Carvalho celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on August 31, 2022© Reuters

Liverpool were due to take on Wolverhampton Wanderers in Premier League action at the weekend, but all domestic fixtures were postponed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Klopp is confident that Liverpool fans will pay their respects with a minute’s silence ahead of the clash with Ajax, adding: “I think it is the right thing to do.

“But I don’t think that our people need any kind of advice from me about showing respect. There are plenty of examples where people showed exactly the right kind of respect.

“One that surprised me and I was really proud of was last season when we played Manchester United. There was a sad situation around Cristiano Ronaldo‘s family. For me, it’s clear. That’s what we have to do.”

The Liverpool boss also revealed an injury blow to Andy Robertson, who picked up a knee issue in the final moments against Napoli and is set to sit out Tuesday’s game.

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