LONDON (Reuters) - Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp refused to criticise Loris Karius for failing to keep out West Ham United’s opening goal by Dimitri Payet as the home team were held to a 2-2 draw at Anfield on Sunday.
One week after Karius gifted Bournemouth their winner in a 4-3 victory on the south coast, the German keeper palmed the ball weakly into the net despite getting across goal to meet Payet’s 27th-minute free kick.
Asked if his fellow countryman was standing too far to the left, Klopp replied “no idea” in his post-match television interview, saying he had only seen the goal live and would need to watch it again before giving a considered view.
“For the first goal, don’t make the foul, don’t lose the ball,” Klopp added.
“The second goal (by Michail Antonio) was unlucky. (Defender) Joel Matip made a fantastic game and in this moment he couldn’t clear the ball. Loris Karius was surprised and it was too late.”
Klopp said that while Liverpool blew a winning position for the second time in a week, Sunday’s result was very different from the Bournemouth defeat.
“Similar to last week? No, these games are not comparable. We drew. We are a good football side,” he added.
“The goals could have been avoided. That’s how it is in football. Mixed emotions, it’s still a point. A draw doesn’t feel too good. doesn’t feel too bad.”
Klopp did however say that Liverpool were below their best and should have won a game where they enjoyed 59 touches in the opposition box against West Ham’s five at the other end.
“Below our best? Yes, that’s right. Actually we had this in other games where we were ahead and clear. The situation is what it is,” said the German.
With England forward Daniel Sturridge injured, Liverpool’s striking options were restricted to 17-year-old Ben Woodburn on the substitutes’ bench.
“In a game like this it’s quite difficult to bring the young players on as substitutes,” said Klopp.
Reporting by Neil Robinson; Editing by Tony Jimenez