Reds suffered 3-2 defeat against Manchester United on Sunday
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has admitted that his team was on the top of their game after suffering an early FA Cup exit in the match against Manchester United.
Bruno Fernandes’ superb free-kick sent the Reds crashing out of the competition United beat their bitter rivals 3-2 in the fourth round.
Fernandes struck with 12 minutes left at Old Trafford to cap a thrilling clash that left Liverpool searching for answers after another painful defeat.
Jurgen Klopp’s side took the lead through Mohamed Salah’s first-half goal, but Mason Greenwood equalised before the interval.
Marcus Rashford put United in front after the break and, although Salah equalised, Portugal midfielder Fernandes came off the bench to fire his free-kick past Alisson Becker.
After slumping to fourth in the Premier League following Thursday’s shock 1-0 defeat against Burnley—their first league loss at Anfield since 2017—Liverpool have to lick their wounds again.
The English champions, who trail leaders United by six points, have won only one of their last seven games in all competitions and that lone success came against Aston Villa’s youth team in the FA Cup third round.
Liverpool struck in the 18th minute when Roberto Firmino threaded a pass to Salah, who lifted his shot over Dean Henderson.
United levelled in the 26th minute when Rashford sent Greenwood clear for a low strike past Alisson Becker.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men netted again in the 48th minute as a mistake from Liverpool’s young defender Rhys Williams allowed Greenwood to race clear and score.
Firmino’s cross was converted by Salah for Liverpool’s 58th-minute equaliser, but Fernandes won it with his sublime set-piece after Fabinho fouled Edinson Cavani.
Liverpool have never got past the fifth round in Klopp’s reign, but that will be the least of his concerns as he tries to spark a revival from his spluttering team.
“There was a lot of good things and some mistakes around the goals. If you want to win here you have to be absolutely top and we were not,” Klopp said.
United will host West Ham in the fifth round as their momentum continues to build.
“You know when you go a goal down the reaction of everyone was really good. We played some really good stuff, good goals. We have to defend well against them and we managed to react well,” Solskjaer said.