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“We have to reinvent ourselves. We have to be better at pretty much everything,” said a disconsolate Jurgen Klopp in Naples on Wednesday.
Dismal Liverpool had just been beaten 4-1 by Napoli in their first Champions League group stage match of the season after being blown away by the Italian side in the first half.
A consolation goal from Luis Diaz was the only positive, as Klopp called on him to ‘reset’ and look for ‘solutions’ to get back to their best form.
Liverpool were beaten 4-1 by Napoli in the group stage of the Champions League last Wednesday
The defeat in Naples was one of the biggest defeats of Jürgen Klopp’s seven-year tenure
Since he took over from the Reds in October 2015, the German’s impact at the club has been transformative, winning 241 of his 387 games in charge with an impressive 62 percent win ratio – by comparison Bill Shankly’s was 52 percent and Bob Paisley’s. 57 percent. cent.
However, there is no doubt that Klopp has a huge job to react to after a disappointing start to the season.
He has experienced similar major defeats and challenges at Anfield in the past and will need to draw on all his experience to get the Reds back and shoot.
Ahead of the Reds facing a dangerous Ajax tonight, Sportsmail looks at the big defeats during Klopp’s reign and analyzes how Liverpool reacted.
The German now has a big job to help the Reds bounce back from last week’s dismal loss
The defeat – Man City 5 – 0 Liverpool – 9 September 2017
Disaster for Liverpool at the Etihad, with Sadio Mane’s red card in the first half for a high challenge on Ederson, leading to a capitulation in the second half for the visitors.
Trailing 1-0 at the time of Mane’s sacking, they went on to lose 5-0, the worst defeat in Klopp’s managerial career at the time.
How did they react?
In the next Premier League game, the Reds were held to a 1-1 draw with Burnley as they dominated the game but were unable to break down the stubborn visitors.
Klopp wasn’t afraid to pass on the changes, with Andrew Robertson only being introduced to Liverpool ahead of his second start, while Philippe Coutinho, James Milner and Daniel Sturridge were also brought in as part of four changes.
The 2017-18 season ended on a positive note, with the Reds finishing fourth and reaching the Champions League final, but after the City debacle, Liverpool won just one of the next seven, with five draws.
Liverpool capitulated after Sadio Mane’s red card and lost 5-0 to Manchester City
The Reds were held back in their next Premier League game by a resolute 1-1 from Burnley at Anfield
The defeat – Tottenham 4 – 1 Liverpool – 22 October 2017
Just over a month after that defeat to City, Liverpool were again humiliated, this time by a Harry Kane-inspired Spurs at Wembley as their defense was torn apart.
Dejan Lovren was hooked after 30 minutes and the Reds had conceded 16 goals after nine games, which was their worst defensive record since 1964-65.
How did they react?
Klopp’s men came back the following week with a 3-0 attack on Huddersfield, which also saw Mohamed Salah miss a rare penalty.
Lovren was dropped for Ragnar Klavan, Georginio Wijnaldum replaced Emre Can and Sturridge came in front for Coutinho, while Klopp refused to deviate from his favorite 4-3-3 formation.
The game started a revival for the Reds, as they won 13 of their next 18 in all competitions and went unbeaten.
This included a memorable 4-3 win over City at Anfield to avenge their defeat earlier that season.
A Harry Kane-inspired Tottenham inflicted another massive defeat on Liverpool in 2017
Liverpool bounced back with a 3-0 win over Huddersfield to lead to an 18-game unbeaten run
The defeat – Barcelona 3 – 0 Liverpool – 1 May 2019
A masterclass from Lionel Messi meant Liverpool succumbed to a heavy defeat to the Spanish giants, leaving their Champions League hopes hanging by a thread.
The Argentine forward scored his 600th goal for the club with a lavish free-kick late, before an Ousmane Dembele miss with the final kick of the game gave the Reds hope.
How did they react?
A hard-fought and dramatic victory over Newcastle in the Premier League, courtesy of a late winner from cult hero Divock Origi, kept the Reds’ title hopes alive.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Henderson and Sturridge came to the side, while Klopp appeared to follow a pattern of three or more changes after a beating.
The following midweek saw the second leg of the clash with Barcelona at Anfield, with Liverpool making one of the most memorable comebacks in Champions League history by winning 4-0 in the evening and 4-3 overall.
Klopp’s side won the competition by beating Spurs in an all-English final in Madrid.
A masterclass from Lionel Messi had put Barcelona 3-0 ahead after the first leg in Spain
After a narrow win against Newcastle, the Reds produced one of the greatest comebacks in Champions League history
They won the Champions League title and defeated Tottenham in the final in Madrid
The defeat – Aston Villa 7 – 2 Liverpool – 4 October 2020
The worst performance of Klopp’s tenure and one of the most bizarre matches in Premier League history. The Reds were beaten 7-2 by Aston Villa after winning their first three games of the season.
Liverpool were torn apart in an empty Villa Park as Ollie Watkins scored a hat-trick in the first half and Jack Grealish had a hand in five goals.
How did they react?
Things didn’t get much better for the Reds as they headed to Goodison Park for the ill-fated Merseyside derby that ruined their season.
After making four changes, they came to 2-2 at Everton, but the main talking point was Jordan Pickford’s reckless horror challenge on Virgil van Dijk that ended the Dutchman’s season and cost the Reds the rest of the season.
To rub salt in the wounds, Henderson had an injury time winner rejected by VAR for offside, while Thiago and Joel Matip also suffered injuries in the fiery duel.
However, they were initially able to accommodate Van Dijk’s absence as Klopp’s side lost just once in 17 games following his injury.
Liverpool’s 7-2 loss to Aston Villa was the worst performance of Jurgen Klopp’s tenure
Then they played the ill-fated Merseyside derby in which Virgil van Dijk suffered a serious injury
Van Dijk was greatly missed by the Reds and was one of many defensive absentees that year
The defeat – Liverpool 1 – 4 Man City – 7 February 2021
Van Dijk’s injury began to affect the Reds as they lost four of their first eight games in 2021 by the time City visited Anfield.
Liverpol’s defensive problems had now only gotten worse with Joe Gomez and Joel Matip also missing as Henderson and Fabinho took center stage, before an Alisson disaster meant City thrashed their rivals to get themselves well on their way to the win the Premier League title.
How did they react?
Probably the most difficult period of Klopp’s time at Anfield, the Reds headed to Leicester with Milner as midfielder and January recruit Ozan Kabak replacing Fabinho at the back.
Liverpool were leading 1-0 with 12 minutes left, but a disastrous collapse led to the Foxes scoring three goals in seven minutes to turn the game around and win 3-1.
Things got worse when the Reds lost four of their next five Premier League games, including their first home derby defeat since 1999.
When they lost 1-0 to Fulham, who were subsequently relegated, it was their sixth home defeat in a row – a club record and the most in a single campaign since 1953-54, when they finished bottom of the league table.
A terrible display from Alisson meant Liverpool were beaten 4-1 by Man City in 2021
More damaging defeats followed, with the Reds losing a record six home games in a row