Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said that his players paid the price for not being “cool enough” after they drew 0-0 at Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday in his first game.
“We didn’t use our skills. We were a little bit too… hectic? Eager? We didn’t see the right option.”
Liverpool have not won inside 90 minutes in 10 games, but they recorded their first clean sheet since August and went close to going in front when Divock Origi, on his first league start, headed against the bar.
That chance arrived during a flurry of early Liverpool pressure, but Spurs were the better team thereafter, with visiting goalkeeper Simon Mignolet required to produce three saves, and Klopp had no complaints about the outcome.
“I’m satisfied with the start,” said the German, who succeeded the sacked Brendan Rodgers during the international break.
“This is not the worst sign because I didn’t have the biggest expectations for the game.
“We only had three days (of training) and Tottenham have a very, very strong and well-tuned team. It could be difficult, but I’m really satisfied.
“The start was brilliant. I think we surprised them a little bit. We didn’t want to go on the first ball, we wanted to go on the second ball and we were there, good timing, very good.
“Divock and Phil (Coutinho) and Adam (Lallana), perfect, and the three behind. Cool positions for them. They did well.”
He added: “For today it’s OK. After three, four days, it was brilliant. Now we have our own game, our own experience together, and we can go on working.”
Spurs coach Mauricio Pochettino said he had expected Liverpool to start the game aggressively and felt that his team might have finished the match with more to show for their efforts.
“It didn’t surprise us,” said the Argentine.
“It was the same when I arrived at Southampton. We played at Everton and the players were over-excited and motivated. It’s normal — you want to impress the new manager.
“If you analyse the 94, 95 minutes, our chances were clear. I’m happy and very pleased with our players. In football, you need to be clinical in front of goal.”