Kolkata: It will be virtually quiz time among the Liverpool fans to find out when did their team last lose at Anfield. In the rough-and-tumble of Premier League, it had taken them some doing to stay unbeaten at home for 68 games - their last defeat coming at the hands of Crystal Palace in April 2017.
The shocker came in the hands of a lowly Burnley on Wednesday night - and with it a shot at back-to-back titles are also slipping away from Jurgen Klopp’s men. “It’s a massive, massive punch in the face,” Klopp said. “We had the ball a lot, created some and didn’t finish the situations off,’’ said the German after Ashley Barnes clinched Burnley’s first win at Liverpool since 1974 when he converted an 83rd-minute penalty after being fouled by Reds goalkeeper Alisson Becker.
“We lost a game which I think it’s actually impossible to lose. But we did it,” said Klopp, the man responsible for bringing back the glory days of Liverpool over last three seasons.
It’s a tough one, not easy to explain. We worked tonight hard and it didn’t happen. It’s my responsibility, that’s the easy explanation
Spluttering Liverpool have slipped to fourth place after a second defeat in their last three league games and trail leaders Manchester United by six points.
They have gone five league games without a win and it is seven hours and 18 minutes since they last found the net in the league.
The Reds have gone four league games without scoring for the first time since May 2000, failing with 87 shots since Sadio Mane’s 12th-minute strike against West Brom.
Liverpool’s goal drought prompted Klopp to leave Mohammed Salah and Roberto Firmino on the bench for an hour, but even the eventual introduction of the two star forwards couldn’t spark a strong finish.
“It’s a tough one, not easy to explain. We worked tonight hard and it didn’t happen. It’s my responsibility, that’s the easy explanation,” Klopp said.
“It’s wrong decisions in the moment, three crosses in the box, we tried to find a player but didn’t. It’s my job to make sure the boys are in the right position, that they feel right.
“If something doesn’t work you have to try harder, more often, longer. It was not easy to lose that game and we did it.”
Liverpool would drop out of the Champions League qualification places if Tottenham at least draw their game in hand or if Everton win one of their two extra matches.
Klopp conceded they could not think about finishing on top of the table given their current struggles. “We can’t imagine the title race at the moment,” he said.
Backing his team to eventually resolve their problems, Klopp added: “It’s not about blaming, we have to sort it together and we will.
“In football you don’t have a lot of time. In the final moment, obviously our decision-making is not right at the moment, that’s the problem.
“I have to make it clearer. How you come in behind their last line, these kind of things. That’s the job we have to do.”
Klopp’s frustration with Liverpool’s travails appeared to boil over in a half-time row with Burnley boss Sean Dyche.
“I didn’t start it but all good. If he’s not talking about it, I won’t talk about it,” Klopp said of the dispute.