(Reuters) - Juergen Klopp unfairly shifted the blame for Liverpool’s defensive frailties onto Dejan Lovren by hauling him off in their 4-1 Premier League loss to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel said.
Harry Kane scored a brace while Son Heung-min and Dele Alli also got on the scoresheet to hand Liverpool their second league loss after the 5-0 hammering by Manchester City last month.
Defender Lovren was responsible for Tottenham’s second when he failed to cut out Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris’s long throw that allowed Kane to find Son. Liverpool manager Klopp responded by replacing Lovren with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on 31 minutes.
“What he’s done now is put all of the responsibility on to Lovren. He will now be in the headlines for this, and that’s really unfair. It should be the manager,” Schmeichel said.
“It’s very important to underline that he never said anything to him and he’s killed that player. It hasn’t helped, they are still defending like it’s their first time ever.”
Liverpool, who dropped to ninth in the table on 13 points, have conceded 16 goals so far for their worst defensive start to a season since 1964.
Klopp admitted in the aftermath of the loss that Lovren was not the only culprit in his side’s capitulation and publicly criticised the team for showing less desire than Tottenham.
Liverpool will look to bounce back on Saturday when they host Huddersfield Town, managed by Klopp’s former colleague at Borussia Dortmund, David Wagner.
Wagner, in charge of the second team at the German side when Klopp was the head coach, led 11th-placed Huddersfield to their first win over United since 1952 over the weekend.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ian Ransom