Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admitted that his players did not look “fresh” from the off as their poor recent record at Anfield continued against Brighton.
Having sprung back into life against Tottenham and West Ham, Liverpool shrank back to the team that went five games without a win and four without a goal on Wednesday.
Steven Alzate scored the telling goal as the Reds lost again at Anfield. What’s more, they have now failed to score in three successive home league games for the first time since 1984.
Speaking after the game, Klopp opened up on how he sensed his players did not look up to the task.
“We played against a really good opposition, that’s clear. I said before the game they are good,” the manager told BT Sport.
“For us, it looks like this week was too tough. We were not fresh tonight, we looked like we were mentally not fresh and if you’re mentally not fresh then physically it’s really rare that your legs sort your problems. Tonight they didn’t.
“They had a good plan and they deserved to win, that’s fine. But of course we wanted to play better and more convincing than we did tonight.
“We lost too many balls in promising situations. I know the boys can play that pass from A to B, but tonight we seemed not reachable in a lot of moments.”
Liverpool’s last goal at Anfield remains Sadio Mane’s opener against West Brom on December 27.
But credit must go to Brighton, who stuck to their plan to great effect to claim a vital three points and pull further clear of the relegation zone.
Klopp rues lack of second-half impact
“Brighton is a football playing team, we knew that and you have to sort that with legs,” Klopp added.
“There’s no organisation in the world apart from keeping the ball and that’s a better solution, but we passed the ball too often in their feet.
“We didn’t create much, we had a good phase in the second half.
“We pushed hard and they felt the intensity as well, but they came through and we didn’t come through and that’s the fact.”
Liverpool lost ground on Leicester, Manchester United and Manchester City, who all won their games.
And while they remain in the top four, West Ham have reduced the gap between themselves and the Reds back to two points.