Jurgen Klopp has admitted that Liverpool lost formation in the second half in their defeat to Southampton. The Reds gave away their 2-0 first half lead and allowed the Saints to seal a 3-2 victory in the Premier League clash at St Mary's Stadium on 20 March.
Philippe Coutinho opened the scoring for the Merseyside club before Daniel Sturridge extended the lead prior to the half-hour mark. However, Sadio Mane scored the opener and the winner after coming off the bench, while Graziano Pelle scored the equaliser in the final quarter of the game helping Ronald Koeman's side to seal a crucial victory.
"In the second half, the first moment which was not too good – we were 2-0 in the lead and they had a counter-attack, that doesn't make much sense," Klopp said, as quoted by Liverpool's official website.
"We lost formation in the second half and we couldn't avoid these long balls to Pelle anymore, who is always fighting for second balls. If you are then not compact you have the problem that they are better in the game.
"In the moment when they scored their first goal, it was clear that something would happen in the game. If we could have played better then 3-1 was possible, I don't think we had the chances for this, so it is like it is. In the second half, Southampton deserved the three points."
The former Borussia Dortmund manager replaced Dejan Lovren with Martin Skrtel after the break. The Croatian international received a yellow card for his tackle on Shane Long in the 25th minute. Klopp revealed Lovren's yellow card convinced him to replace the former Southampton defender with Skrtel.
"His yellow card. I thought at the end of the first half it looked like the ref was not completely anymore free of the emotion in the stadium. Maybe this situation was not okay," the German boss said, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.
"Okay, maybe it was a penalty – I don't know. I thought we had to change this because it was clear that they will play a lot of long balls to Pelle and it's not easy for a centre-half to challenge for these without a yellow card, especially when the ref changed a bit the mood. It was not too good today for us today, obviously."