Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool losing three-goal lead at Sevilla a 'misjudgement'
Last Updated: 22/11/17 11:30am
Jurgen Klopp admits Liverpool's squandering of a three-goal lead in the 3-3 draw with Sevilla was a "misjudgement" by his players and has no concerns about their character.
Two goals from Roberto Firmino either side of a Sadio Mane strike put the Reds on the verge of qualification for the Champions League knockout stage with a game to spare, before the first half had even ended.
However, after the break they collapsed, conceding two to Wissam Ben Yedder inside 15 minutes before Guido Pizarro delivered the final blow with a 93rd-minute equaliser.
"It was a fantastic first half for us, but in the second half we made a mistake and we didn't carry on playing football," said Klopp. "We became passive, they scored the first, then it was obvious the atmosphere changed immediately. That gave them a big boost.
"We did similar things already at home - we used our crowd and used our atmosphere. The atmosphere helped Sevilla a lot and they had to show character.
"If this is at Anfield and we are 3-0 up it is different, but because it was here they had to show character in the second half. They did, they fought back, and as I said, we let them come back in the game and that is our main mistake.
"When controlling the game it is not allowed to become passive in a game like this. They are human beings. It was a misjudgement."
There was an element of history repeating itself as Liverpool led the 2016 Europa League final 1-0 at half-time only to lose 3-1 - six of the players who featured in Basel on that night played some part on Tuesday.
The character of Klopp's players has been called into question since then but the Reds boss does not believe it is an issue.
"We showed already fantastic mentality against Dortmund [staging a late comeback to win the Europa League quarter-final 4-3], we showed it in a lot of other games," he added.
Play Super 6
Simply predict six correct scores to win the £250k jackpot. Enter your selections for free here.
"Yes it was not perfect tonight but it's not a general problem. It just happened. Could we have done better? 100 per cent. Do I think it's a mentality problem? 100 per cent not.
"We opened the door for them, didn't close it, so they could score in the last minute. That's the story of the game. It's football and until the final whistle, everything is possible. I knew that before - I don't doubt the mentality of the boys."
Sevilla's comeback preserved their year-long unbeaten home record which had looked like crumbling in spectacular circumstances.
Coach Eduardo Berizzo delivered a rousing team-talk at half-time and it had the desired response.
"I told them that you had to play with your soul, that there is no mistake that could not be solved," he said. "We talked about rectifying, showing the pride we have, and that if we got the goal soon it was possible.
"They had to go out generating a different energy and people would believe. The team came out and infected 50,000 people. We took the risk of going for the game, and that speaks of the football bravery of the players."