Jurgen Klopp has given his verdict on Liverpool's defensive display after the Premier League champions narrowly avoided an upset against Leeds United.
Klopp's title kings needed a late Mohamed Salah penalty to see off newly promoted Leeds in a 4-3 thriller at Anfield, with the Egyptian star completing his hat-trick.
The Reds were made to sweat with Leeds equalising three times during the game – with Virgil van Dijk coming under fire after making an uncharacteristic error for the visitors' second goal.
As the ball came over the top, the normally unflappable Dutch defender misjudged it and let it run on into the path of Patrick Bamford – who slammed the ball past Alisson to make it 2-2.
Klopp admitted there was "space for improvement" – but insisted he wasn't worried about more blunders like Van Dijk's.
“I didn't see us struggling defensively but the way they play you cannot defend 100 per cent of the time," Klopp said in quotes reported by the Liverpool Echo.
Salah fired Liverpool ahead early on from the penalty spot after a handball decision against Robin Koch, but the lead was soon wiped out by Jack Harrison's excellent equaliser.
Van Dijk restored the Reds' advantage with a bullet header, but then saw Bamford capitalise on his blunder to level the scores again.
"For the first goal both full-backs were deeper than the centre-halves and that should never happen in football," Klopp said.
"The second goal was a misunderstanding between Virgil and Ali and I don't think we will see these situations very often."
Salah fired Liverpool back into the lead with his second, but again Leeds came back, with Mateusz Klich firing past Alisson to set up a nervy finish before Salah settled matters from the spot with two minutes remaining.
Klopp hailed Marcelo Bielsa's tactical nous after his Leeds side took advantage of a formation change from Liverpool for their third equaliser.
"The third one we changed Hendo (Jordan Henderson) not long before and our formation was moving and we didn't close one gap and again to use a situation like that you need the game plan and bravery of Leeds," said the Reds boss.
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"I don't think the goalscorer was a striker, he just showed up there and finished it off brilliantly. We let him run and the midfielders could have done differently. It is not an excuse, it is just an explanation.
"The backline played for England, Holland and Scotland four days ago – all top teams but different ways of defending – and if things are not settled early in pre-season defending is not riding a bike – so there is space for improvement."
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