Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has insisted he still trusts Alberto Moreno “100%” after the left-back’s performance against Sevilla.
Having been 3-0 up at the break in Tuesday’s Champions League clash at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium, the Reds conceded twice in the first 16 minutes of the second half en route to a 3-3 draw.
Moreno, playing against his former club, had a key role in the build-up to both of those goals, committing the fouls that resulted in the free-kick that was headed in by Wissam Ben Yedder and the subsequent penalty converted by the French forward.
Klopp, who took Moreno off shortly afterwards, has been keen to stress his own responsibility for what had happened on Tuesday as he said “it is not the player to blame”.
Klopp said: “I had a talk, of course, to Alberto and I am really happy about his shape and his performances.
“Yes, in this game, it was obviously (difficult)... And that then is really my responsibility, that (we) could have done different things.
“Obviously it was difficult in Seville, with all the circumstances. Everybody was talking to him, like to a family member. He left there and a lot of people are still there that he knows well.
“It was this one, two, three per cent of concentration or whatever, you come a little bit too late, and that is how it started.
“My responsibility would have been, think about the line-up, or change, or change earlier, or whatever.
“So that is how it is. It is not the player to blame. I am 100 per cent responsible for that. I told him I still trust him 100 per cent.”
Klopp said the way the goals were conceded against Sevilla “was quite special but it was not only a single player” and repeated his assessment from Tuesday that Liverpool made mistakes, were passive and “stopped playing football”.
The German, who has stressed his players do not have a mentality problem, then added: “It will be a different game against Chelsea, especially at Anfield — and if we can create a special atmosphere, then I would say it would help us.”
Klopp does not feel Mohamed Salah — the Premier League’s top-scorer this term — has a point to prove against his old club.
“He was very young in a very strong team and didn’t come through,” Klopp said.
“That happens very often. Another player with a similar situation was Kevin De Bruyne. Nobody is to blame, and for sure not Mo.
“I don’t think he has to prove something, and I don’t think he sees it like that.
“If he had been better at Chelsea we would not have him probably at this moment, so I’m happy about the situation.”
Chelsea are currently third, three points and two places better off than Liverpool.
Klopp feels the Blues lost “two very decisive players” in Nemanja Matic and Diego Costa, but emphasised he thinks they still have a “fantastic” team.
PaperTalk: Can Nemo dethrone Crokes and what can be done with internet trolls?
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved