A gaff from Adrian saw Liverpool concede against Southampton. Photo: John Sibley/Reuters

Jurgen Klopp exonerated Adrian for his blunder in the win over Southampton by blaming his side for playing too many back-passes to the injured goalkeeper.

Adrian made a series of errant passes, the final one at 2-0 up culminating in a goal for Danny Ings after the Spaniard played it directly into his path.

That had followed an earlier let-off when Adrian allowed himself to be closed down by James Ward-Prowse and only narrowly avoided conceding. But Klopp defended his goalkeeper, who is standing in for the injured Alisson Becker and was carrying an ankle problem from his match-winning performance in the Super Cup against Chelsea in Istanbul on Wednesday.

The Liverpool manager instead questioned why his side played so many back- passes after return balls from Virgil van Dijk preceded the chances for Ward-Prowse and Ings.

Klopp, who cited Alisson’s howler against Leicester last season, said: ‘Ali did the same. It’s a goalie thing to do but no problem if we win the games. Adrian had a swollen ankle. We played too many balls back to him in this period. I was happy with all of the stuff he did, all of the saves.

‘The other players needed to feel more responsibility in the build-up. You cannot give all of the balls back to him and hope painkillers still help. He’s good with his feet.’

Adrian passed a fitness test after a Liverpool supporter caused his freak injury in the celebrations that followed Wednesday’s penalty shootout win. His form will be vital to Liverpool try to cope with the loss of Alisson, who is expected to be out for between six and eight weeks with a calf injury.

Klopp, happy his team coped with a tough travel schedule, admitted: ‘I said before the game, “This looks like the biggest banana skin in history”. Perhaps the headlines were already written but the headline I prefer is “the mentality giants are in town”. That’s how I feel, the boys did an outstanding job.’

Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl is not panicking despite two defeats, saying: ‘We never gave up today.’

Daily Mail