Jurgen Klopp was left lamenting a poor start after Liverpool missed the chance to go top of the Premier League at Fulham.
With Tottenham only able to take a point from their visit to Crystal Palace earlier in the day, the Reds knew that a win at Craven Cottage would hand them the outright lead at the summit.
However, they failed to cope with an energetic start from Scott Parker’s men, who took the lead through Bobby Decordova-Reid and continued to create chance after chance in a one-sided start to proceedings.
It is that half an hour period that Klopp believes decided the game, though he was more impressed with what his players produced during the remainder of the 90 minutes as they pinched a draw through Mohamed Salah’s penalty.
He told Sky Sports: “So, we didn’t play well. If we had to wake up… I cannot write a book and throw it on the pitch and tell them to read it.
“What I wanted was that we just shake ourselves and start the game. A good start to the game is nice but if we don’t have a good start then you can start again and start again and start again.
“We needed half an hour pretty much to get our feet in the game, so that’s why I shouted a little bit at them.
“After half an hour it was already better, not good but better, second half it was good.
“With the momentum on Fulham’s side, the crowd here fighting for the result, lucky in one or two situations – let me say it like this.
“I think Hendo’s [Jordan Henderson] chance was a big one, a really big one, Curtis [Jones made a] sensational run, really good finish, good save.
“[We] could have had more but scored a goal and after that we had much more situations.
“The first 30 minutes were just not good, we could have lost the game in that period, but we didn’t because the next 60 were really good.”
11 – Liverpool have now dropped 11 points after 12 @premierleague games this season (W7 D4 L1) – the Reds only dropped 15 in the whole of their title winning campaign last year, with it taking until their 35th match in 2019-20 to lose as many as 11 points. Adjustment. #FULLIV pic.twitter.com/xRmPXDNqIx
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 13, 2020
Asked for the reasons behind Liverpool’s early sluggishness, Klopp cited a gruelling schedule that saw his side make a midweek trip to Denmark in the Champions League.
He continued: “We deal with human beings and things like this can happen; [they] should not but can.
“When you look at the results from yesterday that all the teams who play Champions League or Europa League during the week had a tough one this weekend in all leagues.
“Just after all the games, maybe that was the night or the day or the weekend where we all felt it a little bit.
“But then you have to fight against it and that’s what the boys did, so I’m fine with that.
“How I said, in the first half an hour we could have lost it, in the next 60 minutes we could have won it, got a point, yeah.”
That aforementioned visit to Midtjylland resulted in Liverpool losing Naby Keita, Kostas Tsimikas and Diogo Jota to injury.
And they were hit with a further blow at half-time at Fulham as Joel Matip was forced off with a back issue.
Klopp, though, was fairly positive on the defender’s condition, and said: “Matip had a slight back problem. I don’t think it’s anything serious.”