Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp admitted his side are looking ‘mentally tired’ after they fell to back-to-back defeats at Anfield.
Steven Alzate struck a deserved winner for Graham Potter’s impressive Brighton to leave the Reds seven points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City, having also played a game more.
The result means Klopp’s side have not won at home since December 16, and they have now failed to score in three consecutive games at Anfield for the first time since October 1984.
Klopp admitted after the game he will now investigate why his ‘unconvincing’ team failed to break down Brighton over 90 poor minutes.
“I’m disappointed, nothing to smile about really,” said Klopp. “It’s a tough one to take.
“A really tough week – two away games, two very intense games – and tonight we looked really like we weren’t fresh enough mentally and physically.
“There were a lot of moments where we gave the ball away too easily; in moments the boys looked tired mentally.
“I know they can pass the ball from A to B, but it didn’t happen; we made it easy for Brighton but they also did really well.
“Brighton deserved to win, no doubt about it.
“For me, it’s more important to find an explanation for why we lost this game and understand what happened here tonight. We didn’t look convincing.”
Klopp’s side missed the thrust and inventiveness of Sadio Mane, whom the manager will hope has recovered from a muscle injury in time for the visit of Manchester City on Sunday, as Liverpool cannot afford another off-day against the league leaders.
“The gap to City… I am manager of Liverpool and so you ask and I have to say we want to be champions but you need games for it and we need performances for it and we don’t have that,” said Klopp.
“We fight for three points, it is not decided who will get the three points on Sunday. We have to play better and we will try.
“These gaps are not interesting at the moment. They are the result of the results we had already.
“What we can influence is the next game. Tonight it was not enough. We know that and we have to change that.”