Jurgen Klopp defended Adrian after the goalkeeper's late gaffe provided a nervy ending for Liverpool in Saturday's 2-1 Premier League win at Southampton. Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino struck to put the European champion in control at St. Mary's, but the Saints hit back in the closing stages.
Danny Ings profited when a poor Adrian pass cannoned into the open goal and the former Reds striker then missed a gilt-edged chance to snatch a draw. Adrian was a pre-match injury doubt after he was inadvertently hurt by a supporter during the celebrations after Liverpool defeated Chelsea in a shoot-out to win the UEFA Super Cup.
After Liverpool maintained its strong start to the new season, Klopp drew parallels with Adrian's injured colleague Alisson, who made a similar error early last season against Leicester City. "Adrian must have thought 'I played well like Alisson, so I need to make the same mistake he did'," Klopp said.
"Ali did the same. Obviously it's a goalie thing at Liverpool, no problem with that as long as we win the games. All good. Adrian had a swollen ankle and we played too many balls back to him in that period. I was happy with everything he did today, all the saves, all that stuff."
"The other players have to then feel more the responsibility for the build-up and cannot give all the balls back to him and hope the painkillers still help or whatever."
"I don't think the goal was because of that, but a few other balls were. He is completely good with his feet. If you would have seen his ankle on Thursday after we left then you would say even the pass before the [Southampton] goal was better than you would have expected! It is all fine," the Liverpool coach told.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain starred against his old club, starting in a midfield role, and Klopp was fulsome in his praise for the fit-again England international who was withdrawn at half-time against Chelsea in Istanbul.
"Brilliant. It was outstanding good," Klopp said. "It was 45 minutes on Wednesday, we can now say they helped for sure, to get the minutes, to feel the intensity, and know you are ready for the intensity.
"Then today we had to make changes and we did. Especially for us it's really important that in the centre of the park we are ready for all these long runs, all these decisive things, so we changed there… it was good to have these opportunities and Ox was obviously not bad today."
Liverpool matches club record with 11th straight Premier League win
Liverpool's victory over Southampton on Saturday not only sent the Reds back to the top of the table but also matched a club record for successive Premier League wins.
Sadio Mane's sublime strike and a second-half effort from Roberto Firmino proved enough to secure the points at St Mary's Stadium, despite a late howler from goalkeeper Adrian gifting Danny Ings a goal against his old club.
The result brought up an 11th straight top-flight triumph for Liverpool, matching its best winning streak in the Premier League, previously set between February and April 2014 under Brendan Rodgers.
Jurgen Klopp's side will now have the chance to go one better when they return to Anfield next week, with Arsenal - which has won both of its opening matches - visiting Merseyside.
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