Jurgen Klopp has addressed the familiar flaw that once again proved costly as Liverpool slumped to an opening weekend draw against Watford.
Vicarage Road played stage to a frustrating afternoon for the Reds with a scrappy 93rd minute goal from Miguel Britos levelling things up at 3-3 and rescuing the game for the home side.
The same inability to defend against set pieces last season was on show amid a transfer window in which all eyes have been on Klopp to recruit reinforcements for his back four.
Discussing his team’s defensive display, Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com: “I’m not fed up [of talking about it], I have to talk about it. If you want to sum it up to this then that’s the only thing you saw and that’s absolutely OK.”
“We defended most of them really well and in the end is it enough if we concede one goal? Of course not. I think we had two minimum [of the] same big chances off the set-pieces and they defended them with luck.”
“Do they then have no problem with set-pieces and we have still a big problem? I’m not sure. We have to work on it, but that’s my life, our life, in football. For us, different things are important: physicality in the beginning, not ready for these things.”
“That can happen on the first matchday, we have to adapt to these things. No direction in the game first half, much better second half.”
Frustration was understandably evident amongst Reds following the final whistle, with both Watford’s opening goal and late equaliser stemming from set pieces that Liverpool failed to deal with.
Another uncertain performance has only added fuel to the fire in terms of many demanding that Klopp now uses what time is left in the transfer window to strengthen his defensive. For most, that means going all out to sign Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk.
This can’t go on for another season if Liverpool seriously want to challenge for the Premier League title.