Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has defended Loris Karius following his critical late error during Sunday's (4 December) 4-3 defeat to Bournemouth. The young goalkeeper was criticised by Anfield favourite and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher after inexplicably spilling a Steve Cook shot that allowed Nathan Ake to tap home from close range and complete a remarkable comeback by Eddie Howe's side at the Vitality Stadium.
Carragher was particularly aggrieved by Karius' failure to stop impressive impact substitute Ryan Fraser from reducing the deficit to 3-2 with 15 minutes still to play, stating: "It's nowhere near good enough from the goalkeeper. This goalkeeper is yet to convince me – in any game – that he's of the required standard.
"The seven or eight games he has played, and I know it's still early days and who knows how he will do over the next two or three years, but it has to be a massive improvement from him. He hasn't done anything yet in those games to impress me."
He went on to describe Karius' mistake for Ake's pandemonium-inducing 93rd-minute winner as "shocking" and reiterated that former number one turned back-up Simon Mignolet is also not good enough. Fellow pundit Gary Neville claimed that the 23-year-old's uncertainty was transmitting anxiety throughout the team.
"It's no coincidence Liverpool have fallen apart over the last two or three years," Carragher added.
Reiterating his faith in the £4.7m ($5.9m) summer signing from Bundesliga outfit Mainz, Klopp was quoted as saying by The Telegraph: "No concern; no problem. If you make mistakes you get criticised. That's what happens in life. I'm sure people criticised Jamie Carragher in his career. The last goal was not easy for a goalkeeper. It says nothing about him as a goalkeeper. It happens."
Liverpool held a seemingly comfortable 2-0 half-time lead on the south coast after early efforts from Sadio Mane and Divock Origi, but offered Bournemouth a route back into the game when James Milner's clumsy foul on Fraser allowed Callum Wilson to beat Karius from the penalty spot. Emre Can's excellent 20-yard arrow then looked to have killed off the Cherries' hopes, only for Fraser and Ake to net either side of a terrific spin and volley from centre-back Steve Cook.
Such a defeat ended Liverpool's 15-match unbeaten streak and represented their first in any competition since a surprise 2-0 loss at newly-promoted Burnley in August. The EFL Cup semi-finalists, who were without influential defender Joel Matip in addition to Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge, remain third and four points adrift of rampant leaders Chelsea. They host struggling West Ham United and travel to Middlesbrough before a Monday night Merseyside derby meeting with Everton at Goodison Park on 19 December.