Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet needs defenders' help - Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp has defended Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet over the goals he conceded in Wednesday's 3-3 Premier League draw with Arsenal, instead blaming a collective loss of concentration.
Mignolet was criticised for the first two Arsenal goals as they twice cancelled out Roberto Firmino strikes during the opening 45 minutes at Anfield.
Aaron Ramsey beat the goalkeeper at his near post before Olivier Giroud got only the faintest of touches to a corner and it went in off Mignolet, embarrassing the Belgian.
It took a 90th-minute leveller by Joe Allen to cancel out Giroud's well-taken second goal, but Klopp felt the defending in the lead-up to all three goals could have been better.
"If you're going to win and want to win against Arsenal you cannot have this lack of concentration," Klopp told reporters after the match. "I can speak about losing concentration but there are different stories behind losing it. Playing against Arsenal is not too easy."
Liverpool's season-long struggle with set pieces and crosses has brought regular criticism of Mignolet, but the Belgian has repeatedly been backed by his manager and is in talks over a new contract at the club.
Klopp said Mignolet had been left exposed by his defenders for Arsenal's second goal, when Mamadou Sakho was marking Giroud at a corner but failed to prevent the ball reaching the keeper's near post.
"On the set play he needs help from all the players," Klopp said. "Set plays, we have to defend it better. That's an easy thing to say. We have to work on it. We will work on it, we will analyse it.
"We lose the first header, then there is the volley of Giroud. On a perfect day he can make a save but there were a lot of mistakes before. The pass is usually not allowed so we have to defend this before we talk about Simon."
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One positive aspect of the match was Firmino netting his first goals at Anfield, with a left-footed finish on the rebound from Emre Can's shot and a right-footed curler into the top-right corner from 25 yards
"We forced it well, Roberto was special in mind and made his goal," Klopp said. "It was a perfect second goal, but then there was a little bit of us losing control, especially around the second [Arsenal] goal."
Tom is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. Follow him @writertombell.