Football: Soccer-No hugs from Klopp as Liverpool held by Fulham

(Reuters) – Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp was in no hurry to show affection to his players after they were held to a disappointing 2-2 draw by newcomers Fulham in their opening fixture of the Premier League season on Saturday.

Liverpool had to come from behind twice to secure the draw and although they could have stolen it in stoppage time when Jordan Henderson hit the crossbar, there was little in the way of celebration from the visitors when the final whistle went.

“You can’t always hug the boys – we do that usually when they deserve it,” a frustrated Klopp told broadcaster BT Sport. “You start the game in a specific way which was the opposite to how we wanted to start – really, completely opposite.

“We got a point for a really bad game by my side, and now it’s a question of how did it happen. I said it to my colleagues, the attitude was not right in the beginning, then we wanted to fight back but you don I don’t find it easy anymore.”

Fulham twice took the lead through Aleksandar Mitrovic as Liverpool struggled to compete with the home side’s physical approach to the game.

“Everybody was under pressure, we couldn’t really break the lines which was a clear message before the game about what we have to do,” Klopp explained.

“That’s why you have to take the risks. We lost the ball in these moments, and each challenge they have is a very positive thing for them.

“We never had the momentum and yeah, we could have won the game because we had then the bigger chances obviously, but that would have been probably a bit too much today.”

Liverpool face Crystal Palace in their next Premier League game on Monday August 15.

(Reporting by Philip O’Connor; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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