Klopp says Liverpool flops don’t deserve hugs as he slams attitude in Fulham draw

The Reds needed a late strike from Mohamed Salah to rescue a 2-2 draw at Craven Cottage

Jurgen Klopp criticised his Liverpool side’s attitude after they began their new Premier League campaign with a 2-2 draw at Fulham.

The Reds needed a late equaliser from Mohamed Salah to rescue a point at Craven Cottage, after being given a stern examination by Marco Silva’s newly-promoted outfit.

Fulham twice led through Aleksandar Mitrovic, but Liverpool were able to escape with a draw after second-half strikes from Salah and substitute Darwin Nunez, who marked his league debut with a goal.

Speaking to BT Sport’s Des Kelly after the game, Klopp said: “The best thing about the game is the result. We get a point from a really bad game from my side.

“Now it’s a question of ‘how can that happen?’ I said already to your colleagues that the attitude wasn’t right in the beginning. Then we wanted to fight back but it was not easy – the pitch was dry, stuff like this, and we played into their [hands].

“When we had a bit of direction then we ended up in front of their goal, and even when we were 1-0 down we had probably the bigger chances. 

“The result is fine. I don’t think we deserved more than that, but the performance is massively improvable.”

Asked if he had delivered some stern words for his side at half-time, when they trailed 1-0 to Mitrovic’s back-post header, Klopp smiled: “Yes! We cannot always hug the boys. We do that usually when they deserve it.

“The first half, we started the game opposite to how we wanted to. We didn’t find direction, and everybody was under pressure. We couldn’t break the lines.

“There was a clear message before the game, that what we have to do is take risks. We lost balls, and each challenge they won, each chance, each shot, is big for them.

“We never had momentum. We could have won the game, we had the bigger chances, but that probably would have been a bit too much.”

Liverpool will now wait on news of Thiago Alcantara, who left the field with what appeared to be a muscle issue early in the second half.

The Spaniard was replaced by Harvey Elliott, and becomes the latest Reds first-teamer to suffer a fitness scare.

Klopp is already without Diogo Jota, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kostas Tsimikas, Ibrahima Konate, Caoimhin Kelleher, Curtis Jones and Calvin Ramsay, with Naby Keita only just returning to training after illness.

The Reds are next in action at home to Crystal Palace on Monday August 15.