Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp claimed the club must “reinvent” itself after a dismal start to the season was exacerbated by a 4-1 loss to Napoli in their Champions League opener on Wednesday.
The defeat was Liverpool’s worst in the Champions League, and it might have been even worse had Alisson Becker not saved Victor Osimhen’s first-half penalty.
For the Italians, Piotr Zielinski scored twice on each side of two well-worked efforts from Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Giovanni Simeone to put Napoli ahead 4-0 early in the second half.
Last season’s defeated finalists’ Luis Diaz pulled one back, but the Colombian was one of the few bright spots on a night that underlined Liverpool’s early season troubles.
The Reds have won only two of their first seven games this season, placing them sixth in the Premier League, six points behind the top.
“We look to have to reinvent ourselves,” Klopp told BT Sport.
“There are several flaws. It is thrilling that we have to do it in the middle of a Premier League and a Champions League season.
“We play Wolves in three days, and when they saw the game today, they couldn’t stop laughing and thought it was the ideal occasion. I believe it is the ideal time, but we must work hard to find a way to improve in all areas.”
With Ajax at Anfield and Chelsea away in the next 10 days until the international break, Klopp has limited time to find solutions.
“We weren’t operating as a team,” Klopp remarked. “We don’t play well enough, it’s evident, and everyone notices.
“We play in the world’s best league and have a good Champions League group, but that’s the job.
“It is entirely my fault. I need some time to think about it; it’s my duty to figure it out, and we need to reset and go on.”
Klopp has been beleaguered by a string of significant player injuries and will be encouraged to see Joel Matip, Thiago Alcantara, and Diogo Jota come off the bench in the second half.
However, left-back Andy Robertson stated that the entire club must return to basics after allowing the opening goal for the sixth time in seven games.
“We’re miles too open, you can’t come to a venue like this and not be compact,” Scotland’s skipper stated.
“When you have a pressing squad and you miss one challenge, you need someone to follow up and support your teammate.
“But they were turned too many times and had enormous gaps to go in behind us, causing issues for our center-backs whether it was two against two or three against two.
“You can’t defend like that away from home in a Champions League game. We need to get back to basics and become more compact.”