Liverpool defending 'unacceptable' and only 'four-ish' players 'OK' – Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp during his side's 4-1 loss to Manchester City in the Premier League in April 2023.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says some of his side's defending against Manchester City on Saturday was 'unacceptable' and admitted that he was only satisfied with about four of his players after the loss at the Etihad.

The Reds were beaten 4-1 by Pep Guardiola's side in the Premier League's early game and drop down to eighth as their chances of a top-four finish suffered yet another setback in what is proving an extremely disappointing campaign.

"The first half was one we've seen a few times when we’ve played here," Klopp told Match of the Day. "City always have more possession, but we had spells. We played calm, composed and caused them problems.

"Scored a wonderful goal, had another big moment but concede. It was unlucky how the ball went through [Andy] Robertson’s legs and they finish it off but coming out after half time and conceding two quick goals broke everything down.

"The goals, how we conceded is difficult to accept – we didn’t put in a challenge for either. That's absolutely not acceptable to be honest."

Asked in his press conference if Rodri should have been sent off, Klopp said: "Could it have been a second yellow card? Probably, but we will not get it now. I am not sure we would have won today against 10 men.

"I have told the boys there is nothing to say for tonight, tomorrow we have to talk about it. We have to use this game to make clear what things cannot happen.

"We can't be that open. I have to try and explain it, and I cannot explain."

And Klopp admitted that too many of his players were below their best against Guardiola's side.

"In the end, we had moments but in general how we lost everything, unacceptable. 3-1 down is difficult here but there was nothing more there. Four-ish players had an OK game and the rest were somewhere I don’t know."

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Weekend editor

Ben Hayward is Weekend Editor for FourFourTwo. A European football writer with over 15 years’ experience, he has covered games all over the world - including three World Cups, several Champions League finals, Euros, Copa América - and has spent much of that time in Spain. He currently divides his time between Barcelona and London.