I’d have stopped Harry Kane if I was playing for Liverpool – Jürgen Klopp

• German blasts hapless rearguard after 4-1 thrashing by Tottenham
• Liverpool have made worst defensive start to a season since 1964-65

Jürgen Klopp lambasted Liverpool’s hapless defence after a rout that condemned the club to their worst defensive start to a season since 1964-65. A series of clangers helped Tottenham Hotspur record a 4-1 win, with Harry Kane again influential in deciding the game’s outcome.

“If I am involved in this situation on the pitch, then Harry cannot get the ball,” Klopp said. “It wouldn’t happen if I was on the pitch – but I am in the middle of the technical area in trainers. Each job is clear but we couldn’t do it.”

Even in the heat of post-match emotion, to infer that a 50-year-old manager can do a more efficient job than a current international does not reflect well.

Dejan Lovren, the worst culprit for the first two goals which Liverpool shipped in a feeble start to the match, was substituted in the 31st minute in an attempt to reshape and offer more protection. They conceded twice more, taking their total goals against for the season to 16 (15 of them away from home). Klopp was not particularly minded to point the finger at Lovren. “I really don’t want to blame players. He feels not good. That’s OK. Nobody should feel good. He is part of the squad. That’s all.”

Klopp conceded that Liverpool’s collective defending was well below expectations. “In all decisive moments we were not there. The first goal was unbelievably easy to defend. The second we miss the moment. The third goal another present. Everything was bad from us. We cannot get results with a performance like today. They were completely spot on and we weren’t. That’s my responsibility. It was much too easy for Tottenham today. Our fault.”

Mauricio Pochettino was delighted with his team’s comprehensive victory. “I am so pleased for the team, so pleased for our fans. We start to change the feeling that it was difficult to play here at Wembley. We start to feel it can be our home. That’s so important for the rest of the season,” he said.

The Tottenham manager again had praise for Kane, who will be rested for the midweek EFL Cup match. “He is amazing. He was tired at the end. He put in a massive effort in Real Madrid and today and it’s normal to be a bit tired. No problem.”


Amy Lawrence at Wembley

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