A frustrated Jurgen Klopp said “the most positive thing was the result” after Liverpool could only draw 2-2 with newly promoted Fulham. Despite £85m signed by Darwin Nunez as a scoring goal, the Liverpool manager felt his team had fled Craven Cottage.
Aleksandar Mitrovic’s two goals were canceled out by Nunez’s and Mohamed Salah’s equalizers, but Klopp described himself as “12” on a 1-10 disappointment scale. “The performance was a defeat,” Klopp said. “The result was not a defeat, but a game. That’s why we have to find out what happened. If we win today and do not learn anything, it is much worse than a point and not learning what is needed. But it wasn’t us.
“We started in exactly the opposite way than we wanted. We were used to more dominance and we couldn’t get it because we weren’t playing well enough, not fast enough, not accurate enough.”
Klopp was happy to pay tribute to Fulham for their part in a very spectacular match, saying: “Don’t take anything away from Fulham, they did really well.” He admitted that Liverpool “couldn’t find a way to get into the game” and “didn’t feel good because we were used to more dominance”.
Fulham manager Marco Silva said his side “deserved more than a draw. “I think we matched them from the first minute to the last.” Congratulating his team on a great performance overall, with new players João Paliña and Andreas Pereira making an impression in midfield, Silva praised Mitrovic.
“That would have been enough even if he hadn’t scored,” Silva said. “I must congratulate all of [goalkeeper] Marek [Rodak] Mitro, but the work he did today without the ball was fantastic.”
Fulham captain Tim Ream echoed his manager’s thoughts, saying: “We knew that if we could be aggressive and show them the game, it would be difficult for them.”
In addition to dropping points early in the season, Thiago Alcantara’s injury added to Liverpool’s problems, with Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Curtis Jones all missing the start of the season. Klopp has suggested the Spaniard’s hamstring issue is still not enough to push Liverpool into the transfer market.
“I said we don’t need a midfielder because we have enough,” Klopp said. “The transfer must make sense now and in the long term. We have eight midfielders, it’s not that we don’t have enough midfielders, they just get injured. But this is not a very good situation. I don’t like all this. Of course, we should think about how we will react, but not panic.”
Nunes’ impact at least lifted Klopp’s spirits. “You need this extra, this difference,” said the manager of the Uruguayan striker. “He interferes with opponents, [scored] great goal and could score another one. He is involved in a lot of situations and that’s really good.”