Bournemouth - Jurgen Klopp has been forced to defend
Liverpool's character and title credentials after their incredible meltdown in
a stunning 4-3 defeat at Bournemouth.
Liverpool's shock loss on Sunday came at a time when they
looked set to move to within a point of leaders Chelsea and go into the
Christmas period as one of the favourites to finish as champions for the first
time since 1990.
However, the nervous manner of the team's late collapse
against a Bournemouth team who had never won against Liverpool in their
history, has opened up a debate over whether Klopp's squad is ready for such
Next weekend sees Liverpool face lowly West Ham at Anfield,
but the Christmas fixture list also throws up far tougher games against
Merseyside rivals Everton and title rivals Manchester City, with star player
Philippe Coutinho missing all of them because of an ankle injury.
Klopp, however, sees no reason for panic despite his team
conceding three goals in the last 14 minutes to turn a 3-1 lead into a 4-3
"We have no attitude or character problem," he
said. "No-one is born a winner. Not in the first two or three months. You
have to learn it.
"It doesn't feel too good right now but sometimes we
need it. So I'm not angry. These things happen and you cannot be champions in
"I would say we were 100 percent before now. Now we are
99 percent. But it's quite simple to go back to 100 percent.
"Nothing happened today apart from losing three points.
Everything else is ok."
Also read: Klopp confident Liverpool momentum is intact
- No concern -
Klopp did admit he wasn't happy with certain aspects of
Liverpool's performance, however - accusing his team of 'opening the door for
Bournemouth' in the latter stages of a match in which Liverpool scored
excellent goals through Sadio Mane, Divock Origi and Emre Can.
But Klopp refused to place any blame at the door of
goalkeeper Loris Karius, who spiled Steve Cook's stoppage-time shot to gift
Nathan Ake the winner - and was then heavily criticised by television pundit
and former Liverpool player Jamie Carragher for his mistake.
"No, I have no concern," Klopp insisted. "No
problem. If you make mistakes you get criticised. That's what happens in life.
"I'm sure people criticised Jamie Carragher in his
career. It has no influence on what I do to my team. It says nothing about him
as a goalkeeper. It happens. We go on."
In contrast, Bournemouth players are celebrating a famous
victory, having never previously beaten Liverpool in nine fixtures going all
the way back to 1927.
The result takes them up to 10th, with matches against
struggling Burnley and Leicester next on the agenda.
Their comeback was inspired by a match-winning performance
from 22-year-old substitute Fraser, who only came on because of an injury to
teammate Junior Stanislas in the second half with his team trailing 2-0.
The Scottish winger won a penalty with his first touch,
scored Bournemouth's second at 3-1 and set up his team's equaliser as the game
was turned on its head.
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe, whose team were playing in
England's fourth tier as recently as six years ago, said: "I don't think
I'll ever forget this game. It was a right contrast of emotions.
"At half time we were in real trouble and Liverpool
were excellent and that makes the comeback even more impressive.
"I thought Ryan Fraser was absolutely magnificent. He's
a very young player and had to make a decision in his career to come down to
England from Aberdeen, signing for a League One club at the time and that was a
huge leap of faith.
"But hopefully it's paid dividends. He's got a great
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