Klopp defends Lovren after Liverpool's defeat against Watford

Jurgen Klopp had no "interesting answers" to explain Liverpool's defeat to Watford but came to the defence of his defender Dejan Lovren.

Liverpool centre-back Dejan Lovren replaced the injured Joe Gomez alongside Virgil van Dijk and was criticised heavily for a poor performance.   -  Getty Images

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he "can't help" those who pinned the blame for the club's  first Premier League defeat of the season on Dejan Lovren.

The Reds' incredible 44-game unbeaten run in the league came to an end on Saturday as they slumped to a 3-0 loss at Watford.

Lovren replaced the injured Joe Gomez alongside Virgil van Dijk at the heart of the Liverpool defence and was criticised heavily for a poor performance.

However, Klopp believed no member of his side - which remains 22 points clear at the top of the league - played at their best.

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Speaking ahead of Tuesday's FA Cup fifth-round tie with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Klopp came to Lovren's defence.

"There are so many explanations for the defeat. I have no interesting answers, we didn't play well," Klopp said. 

"Watford hurt us in situations where we are usually much better. It was not the day where we showed our best attitude-wise. Apart from that it was a very difficult game because Watford defended in a 6-3-1 formation that is of course allowed but quite a challenge to play against.

"I really thought in the second half we got it, but then we conceded the first goal and then the second goal.

"The situation we are in, you couldn't read a book about because nobody else was in the situation before us.

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"It was 44 games without losing a Premier League game. The Premier League game before Watford we lost was at Man City, [and that] was because of 11 millimetres. Imagine if we didn't lose that game, it would have been a run of more than 60 games, which is absolutely incredible.

"It's not about now picking this game out and saying 'that was the sign that something went wrong', it's not like this. We have the chance to react, that's how it is.

"It's over now, so we can concentrate completely on football and we will do that. Nobody can tell us how to deal in a best way with runs like this because not a lot of teams had it. I was not happy with the performance but it was always clear there can be a moment where it can happen.

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"If anyone blamed Dejan Lovren for the defeat then I can't help these people. It was a massive challenge for Dejan to play against Troy Deeney, so many other centre-halves would struggle in these specific situations and Joe had problems in similar situations before that. 

"It's completely normal and both Dejan and Joel [Matip] played for us in this position sensational games, but like everybody in life you need to be healthy, then you need to get fit and where you are fit you need rhythm, that's the most difficult thing to get in professional football because if you are out you have sessions but you don't play.

"He's an outstanding centre-half. If you can tell me one player on Saturday who played his normal level I would be really surprised."

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