Stunned Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said his side did “all the things you should not do in a football match” as they “lost the plot” to play into Aston Villa’s hands in their 7-2 humbling at Villa Park in the Premier League on Sunday.
Following on from Manchester United’s 6-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool added to a remarkable day as they became the first reigning English top-flight champions to ship seven goals in a league match since Arsenal in 1953.
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Ollie Watkins’ first-half hat trick set Villa en route to an astonishing victory, as Liverpool slipped to a first defeat of the season thanks to a woeful showing at the back in the Midlands.
“We played into their hands, with all the goals,” Klopp said. “Then the game has a specific direction.
“We had still good moments, but our good moments lead to nothing, other than Mo’s [Mohamed Salah] two goals.
“All their good moments lead to a big chance or goals, and that makes all the difference. All the things you should not do in a football match we did tonight, but all credit to Aston Vila, as they forced us to do those things.
“The first goal had an impact but it shouldn’t. We conceded goals like that in the past, but the reaction wasn’t good, and we lost the plot.”
A combination of missed chances and poor defending were largely to blame for the loss, according to Klopp, who said he wished the team had a training session on Monday to address the issues.
“It was unexpected but it happened tonight,” Klopp said. “For me it wasn’t a specific moment, we put all our rubbish things and mistakes in one game and hopefully we can start again.
“Tonight wasn’t sloppy, it was just bad. I have to admit that but I can’t change it. I would love to have a training session tomorrow and Tuesday and to talk about it, but the boys go back off to international duty. Hopefully they come back healthy and we use the two days to prepare for Everton.”
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith hailed the effort from his side, as they made it three wins from three in extraordinary fashion, to move up to second in the table, ahead of Liverpool in fifth.
“It was just sheer hard work and effort,” Smith said. “The work ethic, when Jurgen Klopp says ‘wow’ to you you know you’ve done something right. The lads were superb, they executed the game plan perfectly. We were at our best today.
“It’s a good start, an exceptional result and a really good start. We won’t get complacent but we’ll enjoy tonight because results like that don’t come around too often. We’ve got a lot of pride and confidence going into the international break.”