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Jurgen Klopp bemoans 'massive knock' against Bournemouth and admits concern at Liverpool's away form

Liverpool lost further ground on the top four with a 1-0 loss to Bournemouth; Philip Billing's goal proved decisive at Vitality Stadium; Jurgen Klopp: "This game was a massive knock. How is it with knocks? You have to take them and then you have a look how big the scars are"

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Jurgen Klopp discusses Liverpool's 1-0 loss to Bournemouth ahead of a run of games against Real Madrid, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal

Jurgen Klopp was left bitterly frustrated by Liverpool's 1-0 loss to relegation-threatened Bournemouth and fears it could leave further scars on his players amid a difficult season.

Philip Billing's first-half strike proved decisive at the Vitality Stadium as Liverpool slumped to their seventh away loss in the Premier League this season, just six days after their 7-0 thrashing of Manchester United at Anfield.

Liverpool missed a string of early chances and then spurned an opportunity to level when Mohamed Salah sent a penalty wide midway through the second period, but overall it was another poor display in a long line of them this season.

"I am very [disappointed]," Klopp said afterwards. "The game was pretty much the opposite of what we wanted to show and do today.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Bournemouth’s win against Liverpool

"I think we played, for 95 minutes, the game Bournemouth wanted to play. We had only a few minutes and a few moments when we did what we wanted to actually do.

"In the first half, I think our two or three best moments were similar, finding the half-space and going from there behind the last line. We scored a goal that was disallowed for offside.

"We had other big chances after set-pieces which we didn't use. No-brainers, or whatever, where we have to score.

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"But in one of the situations Bournemouth had, going behind our last line, we didn't cover ourselves well enough in those moments and one time Ali [Alisson Becker] couldn't save us."

Of Salah's missed penalty, he said: "It's of course hypothetical, but it looked a little bit for me that, if you score there, it would give us a proper boost, but we didn't and then you could see we were a bit in a rush, and didn't create enough calm attacking moments.

Bournemouth's Jack Stephens and Dango Ouattara celebrate the 1-0 win over Liverpool
Image: Bournemouth's Jack Stephens and Dango Ouattara celebrate their win

"Bournemouth fought with massive passion and showed their quality, how they kept the ball. We couldn't defend them in the first phase, so we had to track back and defend them there.

"I can't remember big chances for them, but it's still pretty exhausting and then you have a long way back into their box. We lost the game and it's very, very, very frustrating."

The frustration of the latest setback was particularly acute given it came less than a week after Liverpool's demolition of Manchester United, when it appeared they had turned a corner.

The challenge now is to pick themselves up ahead of a crucial run of games which includes Wednesday's trip to Real Madrid and, after the international break, Premier League away games against Manchester City and Chelsea.

"Setbacks are setbacks," Klopp added. "We are in the situation we are because of the setbacks, and because of the good performances as well.

"We didn't only have setbacks, but we have had too many. Today was a proper one, no doubt about that.

"Now we have to deal with it and we will deal with it. One thing we have learned this season is to deal with setbacks.

"We have to make sure we recover properly because on Wednesday, we obviously have a big game [against Real Madrid]. Then it's the international break, when we hope everyone comes back healthy.

Mohamed Salah misses a chance to equalise, blazing his penalty wide of the goal
Image: Mohamed Salah misses a chance to equalise, blazing his penalty wide of the goal

"Then we have the football week of all football weeks, opponents-wise, So, there's a lot to go for but today is not the moment for me to talk about that.

"This game was a massive knock. How is it with knocks? You have to take them and then you have a look how big the scars are and then go from there."

Klopp admitted Liverpool's away form - they have only won three of their 13 away games in the Premier League this season - is a big concern.

"Concerned, yeah," he said. "I see it. With the home games, I think we are top four. With away games, we are not even in Europe. There's always a reason for the situation we are in.

"We could have had more points at home as well, and maybe should have, but away, definitely. That was a big strength of us in the last years, it made a big difference, but that's how it is when you are successful.

"When you do things consistently, in the right way, with the quality we have, you have a good chance to get away results as well, but this is not happening often enough. It's a clear point, to be honest, yes."

O'Neil: Victory is no fluke

Bournemouth boss Gary O'Neil, meanwhile, hailed his players' efforts and expressed his delight at claiming a result their performance merited.

"We deserved it," he said. "I'm pleased for the boys and the group; that's no fluke. The performances in the last three games have been very good against top opposition.

"Fine margins can't continually go against you when you perform the way we have."

He added: "I'm sure we'll win again, I'm sure we'll lose again, so we'll try and stay really level but it's a big three points for us.

"I was asked so many times this week if the boys were going to suffer any hangover from the incidents at Arsenal and there's your answer.

"I didn't have any doubt and I'm sure the boys believed but if they didn't, they definitely will after that."

Philip Billing celebrates after the win over Liverpool
Image: Philip Billing celebrates after the win over Liverpool

On David Brooks' return to the matchday squad - the Wales international was on the bench for the first time since receiving the all-clear from Stage 2 Hodgkin lymphoma towards the end of last season, he said: "For him, for his family, the journey he's been on and what they've all been through, I was delighted for him.

"We still need to be realistic with how much he can do at the moment, but I was desperate to try and get him on at some point. Unfortunately, the game didn't really go that way.

"He scored a goal in training on Wednesday in an 11v11 and I just thought, 'Yeah, we need to get this guy back involved somehow.'

"We pushed hard to get him back involved and he was delighted yesterday. The boys were delighted as well after going through a lot of it with him.

"Hopefully, we can get Brooksy even fitter than he is now. He's a fantastic player and shown some unbelievable moments in training recently."

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