Sadio Mane insists Liverpool deserved to win their opening game of the Premier League season away to Watford.
The Reds forward was one of few impressive performers for Jurgen Klopp’s side, who conceded a 93rd minute equaliser and were subsequently forced to settle for a 3-3 draw.
Familiar defensive issues were costly for Liverpool as they were twice undone by set pieces and guilty of handing Watford a sloppy second goal.
Mane has stressed the need to come back stronger defensively and secure all three points next time out.
“We’re disappointed because we deserved to win,” he told Liverpoolfc.com.
“We should have defended better in this kind of game, it’s always complicated with long balls. It’s the first game of the season and we’re going to try to work hard for the next games.”
“No excuses – everybody is fit. We’re unlucky we didn’t get three points because we were looking for that, but the next game we’re going to be ready to get three points to make our fans happy.”
“We are all professionals. This can happen in football. With all due respect to Watford, we should have won, we were the better team. But it’s football. We’ll accept it, forget it and try to be ready for the next game.”
Mane was arguably Liverpool’s best player on the day, going someway towards picking up where he left off before his season-ending injury during the 2016/2017 campaign.
The Senegalese forward was at hand to draw Liverpool level in the first half, linking up superbly with Emre Can before firing past Heurelho Gomes with a clinical finish.
Excellent work from an outstanding trio of Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah went unrewarded as Liverpool’s defence once again proved to be the team’s achilles heel.
Another reminder of the severe lack of balance Klopp still needs to address.
A highly-rated Hoffenheim attacking force could do some serious damage on Tuesday night if there isn’t a response from the Reds.