Jurgen Klopp said he would have made a better fist of defending Tottenham’s first goal in Sunday’s 4-1 Premier League defeat at Wembley than his Liverpool side managed.
The German was left shaking his head at his team’s inept defensive display, with one of the chief culprits, Dejan Lovren, substituted just after the half-hour mark.
By that point the Reds were 2-0 down, Harry Kane opening the scoring after just four minutes as a speculative chip forward from Kieran Trippier caught out Lovren.
The centre-back missed another header soon after, allowing Kane to sprint free and square to Son Heung-min to slot home.
Mohamed Salah pulled a goal back, but just before half-time Joel Matip headed a free-kick straight to Dele Alli, who volleyed in.
The fourth saw goalkeeper Simon Mignolet flap at a cross, with Kane eventually capitalising to steer in.
“It is difficult to talk about because I do not want to create headlines which don’t help us,” said Klopp, whose side are ninth in the table.
“It was just defending in all parts. Everything that happened was so obvious…you cannot get results with performances like (that).”
Klopp refused to lay any blame squarely at the door of Lovren.
“Actually I really don’t want to blame players and Dejan was no worse, to be honest, than Joel,” he added.
“We have to prove we are better defenders than we are today. The only way to fix it is to stay strong. The first goal would not happen if I am on the pitch, in my trainers.”
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino introduced Harry Kane to Diego Maradona ahead of the game.
The World Cup winner was a special guest at Wembley, where he caught up with fellow Argentinian Pochettino before kick-off.
The pair had a short spell as team-mates at Newell’s Old Boys in the early 1990s and met again as Maradona, who turned out for Tottenham in a friendly match in 1986, saw Spurs run riot.
“I saw him before in the manager’s room,” said Pochettino, whose side are now level on points with second-placed Manchester United.
“It was so emotional and difficult to let him go because when you are in front of Maradona you want to speak with him, stay with him and share a moment with him.
“It was after more than 20 years that I didn’t see him. For me, he is the best player ever in football and he is massive – he remembers every single moment we shared when we played together.”
Kane, who along with Hugo Lloris was introduced to Maradona by Pochettino, now has 13 goals for the season and he earned high praise from his manager.
“I’m so pleased because always it is good when you enjoy football and he should enjoy the game. I introduced him with Hugo and Harry,” Pochettino said.
“It was another fantastic performance (from Kane), he is amazing. One of the best players, one of the best strikers in the world.”