Klopp's Liverpool respond to big defeats, after shocker against Napoli

The greatest comeback in Champions League history, an eighteen match UNBEATEN run, a RECORD six losses in a row at Anfield and THAT fateful Merseyside derby… how Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool respond to big defeats, after shocker in Naples last week

  • Liverpool were thrashed 4-1 by Napoli in the Champions League last week 
  • They entertain Ajax at Anfield on Tuesday as they attempt to bounce back 
  • Jurgen Klopp has faced heavy defeats before in his seven-year spell at the club
  • Sportsmail examines the biggest losses of his reign and how the Reds responded

‘We have to reinvent ourselves. We have to be better in pretty much everything,’ said a disconsolate Jurgen Klopp in Naples last Wednseday. 

A dismal Liverpool had just been thrashed 4-1 by Napoli in their first Champions League group game of the season after being blown away in the first half by the Italian side.

A Luis Diaz consolation goal provided the only positive as Klopp called for his side to ‘reset’ and look for ‘solutions’ to return to their best form.

Liverpool were thrashed 4-1 by Napoli last Wednesday in the Champions League group stage

The defeat in Naples was one of the biggest defeats of Jurgen Klopp’s seven-year tenure

Since taking over the Reds in October 2015, the German’s impact at the club has been transformational, winning 241 of his 387 games in charge with an impressive 62 per cent win ratio – in comparison Bill Shankly’s was 52 per cent and Bob Paisley’s was 57 per cent.

However, there is no doubting Klopp has a huge task on his hands to respond after an underwhelming start to the season.

He has faced similar big defeats and challenges in the past at Anfield and will need to call on all of his experiences to get the Reds back and firing.

Ahead of the Reds facing a dangerous Ajax tonight, Sportsmail takes a look at the big defeats during Klopp’s reign and analyses how Liverpool responded.

The German now has a big job to help the Reds to bounce back from last week’s dismal loss

The defeat – Man City 5 – 0 Liverpool – September 9 2017

A disaster for Liverpool at the Etihad, with Sadio Mane’s first half red card for a high challenge on Ederson leading to a second half capitulation from the visitors. 

After being 1-0 down at the time of Mane’s dismissal, they went onto lose 5-0 which was the joint-heaviest defeat of Klopp’s managerial career at the time. 

How did they respond? 

In the following Premier League game, the Reds were held to a 1-1 draw with Burnley as they dominated the game but were unable to break down the stubborn visitors. 

Klopp wasn’t afraid to ring the changes, with Andrew Robertson being introduced for just his second Liverpool start, while Philippe Coutinho, James Milner and Daniel Sturridge were also brought in as part of four alterations. 

The 2017-18 season did end positively, with the Reds finishing fourth and reaching the Champions League final, but after the City debacle Liverpool won just one of the following seven, drawing five. 

Liverpool capitulated after Sadio Mane’s red card and lost 5-0 to Manchester City

The Reds were held by a resolute Burnley 1-1 at Anfield in their following Premier League game

The defeat – Tottenham 4 – 1 Liverpool – October 22 2017

Just over a month after that City defeat, Liverpool were again humbled, this time by a Harry Kane-inspired Spurs at Wembley as their defence was torn apart. 

Dejan Lovren was hooked after just 30 minutes and the Reds’ had conceded 16 goals after nine games which was their worst defensive record since 1964-65. 

How did they respond? 

Klopp’s men bounced back the following week with a 3-0 battering of Huddersfield that also saw Mohamed Salah miss a rare penalty.

Lovren was dropped for Ragnar Klavan, Georginio Wijnaldum replaced Emre Can and Sturridge came in for Coutinho up front, with Klopp refusing to deviate from his preferred 4-3-3 formation.

The game kickstarted a revival for the Reds as they won 13 out of their next 18 in all competitions and remained unbeaten.

This included a memorable 4-3 win over City at Anfield to exact revenge on their defeat earlier that season.

A Harry Kane-inspired Tottenham inflicted another huge defeat on Liverpool in 2017

Liverpool bounced back with a 3-0 win over Huddersfield to spark an 18-match unbeaten run

The defeat – Barcelona 3 – 0 Liverpool – May 1 2019

A Lionel Messi masterclass meant Liverpool succumbed to a heavy defeat by the Spanish giants that left their Champions League hopes hanging by a thread.

The Argentinian forward netted his 600th goal for the club with a sumptuous free-kick late-on, before a miss from Ousmane Dembele with the final kick of the game gave hope to the Reds. 

How did they respond? 

A hard fought and dramatic win at Newcastle in the Premier League, courtesy of a late-winner from cult hero Divock Origi kept the Reds title hopes alive.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Henderson and Sturridge came in to the side, with Klopp seemingly following a pattern of three or more changes after a thrashing.

The following midweek saw the second leg of the clash with Barcelona at Anfield, with Liverpool competing one of the most memorable comebacks in Champions League history by winning 4-0 on the night and 4-3 on aggregate.

Klopp’s side went on to win the competition by defeating Spurs in an all-English final in Madrid.

A Lionel Messi masterclass had put Barcelona 3-0 up after the first leg in Spain

After a narrow win against Newcastle, the Reds produced one of the greatest comebacks in Champions League history

They went onto win the Champions League title, beating Tottenham in the final in Madrid

The defeat – Aston Villa 7 – 2 Liverpool – October 4 2020

The worst performance of Klopp’s tenure and one of the most bizarre games in Premier League history, the Reds were thrashed 7-2 by Aston Villa having won their first three games of the season.

Liverpool were torn apart at an empty Villa Park as Ollie Watkins scored a first half hat-trick and Jack Grealish had a hand in five goals. 

How did they respond?

Things didn’t get much better for the Reds as they headed to Goodison Park for the fateful Merseyside derby that wrecked their season.

After making four changes, they drew 2-2 with Everton, but the main talking point was Jordan Pickford’s reckless horror challenge on Virgil van Dijk that ended the Dutchman’s season and cost the Reds across the rest of the campaign.

To rub salt into the wounds, Henderson had a stoppage time winner ruled out by VAR for offside, while Thiago and Joel Matip also picked up injuries in the fiery clash.

However, they did initially cope with Van Dijk’s absence as Klopp’s side only lost once in 17 games after his injury.  

Liverpool’s 7-2 loss to Aston Villa was the worst performance of Jurgen Klopp’s tenure

They then played the fateful Merseyside derby with Virgil van Dijk sustaining a serious injury

Van Dijk was missed hugely by the Reds and was one of several defensive absentees that year

The defeat – Liverpool 1 – 4 Man City – February 7 2021

Van Dijk’s injury was starting to affect the Reds as they lost four of their first eight games in 2021 by the time City visited Anfield.

Liverpol’s defensive troubles had only got worse by now with Joe Gomez and Joel Matip also missing as Henderson and Fabinho lined up at centre-back, before an Alisson disasterclass meant City thrashed their rivals to put themselves well on their way to winning the Premier League title.

How did they respond? 

Probably the toughest period of Klopp’s time at Anfield, the Reds headed to Leicester with Milner coming into midfield and January recruit Ozan Kabak replacing Fabinho at the back.

Liverpool were 1-0 up with 12 minutes remaining but a disastrous collapse led to the Foxes scoring three times in seven minutes to turn the game around and win 3-1.

Things got even worse as the Reds then lost four of their next five Premier League games, including a first derby defeat at home since 1999. 

When they lost 1-0 to Fulham who were subsequently relegated, it was their sixth home loss in succession – a club-record run and the most in a single campaign since 1953-54, when they finished bottom of the top flight.

A dreadful display from Alisson meant Liverpool were thrashed 4-1 by Man City in 2021

More damaging defeats followed, with the Reds losing a record six home games in a row




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