Soccer – No laughing matter for concerned Klopp


Jurgen Klopp has said he does not see the funny side of the “self-fulfilling prophecy” about Liverpool’s failure to defend set-pieces and has warned his players the joke has to stop.

The Premier League top-four hopefuls took an early lead against Norwich City at Carrow Road on Saturday but soon found themselves staring down the barrel of a 3-1 defeat. A second-half rally saw the Merseysiders take a 4-3 lead only for Sebastien Bassong to restore parity. Adam Lallana popped up with a dramatic winner to spark wild celebrations from the visitors, but the circumstances which led to the England forward’s goal are causing new manager Klopp a headache.
Two of the Canaries’ four goals came from set-play situations and former Borussia Dortmund coach Klopp has said he does not see the funny side of Liverpool’s frailties in defence.
Eight-time competition winners Liverpool host Stoke City in the second leg of the Capital One Cup semi-finals on Tuesday, with a 1-0 lead from the first leg, and Klopp knows his side’s defending has to improve.
“It is not something I like to make jokes about but our defensive work from set plays, we know how it works now,” he said.
“I was a below average player but when I was dealing with set-plays it was not that difficult.
“Now, as you saw, it is like a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
Liverpool are currently priced 4/5 by Bet365 in the Capital One Cup match betting and the draw outcome is quoted 27/10. Stoke City are available to back in the 90 minutes market at 4/1.