LONDON (Reuters) - For all Juergen Klopp’s repeated insistence that Liverpool’s defence is not a problem this season, the evidence suggests otherwise.
For the second Sunday running Liverpool failed to take three points from a Premier League game they should have won after dominating possession and taking the lead.
Although their combustion was not quite as spectacular as at Bournemouth last week, when they lost 4-3 after leading 2-0 and 3-1, the two goals they conceded in the first half at home to West Ham United on Sunday leaves Klopp with serious decisions to make ahead of the January transfer window.
Goalkeeper Loris Karius’ mediocre display at Bournemouth cannot now be dismissed as a one-off.
The German was again badly at fault for Dimitri Payet’s equaliser on Sunday, offering only a soft hand to a 20-metre free kick that should have been palmed to safety.
The return of Joel Matip was also supposed to bring composure to third-placed Liverpool’s rearguard after the shambles on the south coast but his stumble let in Michail Antonio for West Ham’s second as Anfield let out a collective sigh of disbelief.
Divock Origi’s equaliser should not disguise the truth that Liverpool score and concede with equal ease. One or two goals ahead, nothing is ever secure.
Sometimes Klopp’s men can bag five or six, as they did against Hull City and Watford, but they can also sometimes go into kamikaze mode.
Sunday provided further proof that no side should ever despair against Liverpool, no matter what the situation.
Manager Klopp may now have to decide whether to persist with Karius in goal, with former players Jamie Carragher and Phil Thompson among those calling for Simon Mignolet to be restored.
The German only has a couple of days to make up his mind because Liverpool are back in league action at Middlesbrough on Wednesday.
Mignolet started the season solidly and was unlucky to lose his place to Karius.
Klopp gave little away after the game against fourth from bottom West Ham but, in the face of similar criticism directed at Alberto Moreno last term, he was loyal to the left back until he dropped him at the start of this campaign.
Editing by Tony Jimenez