Jurgen Klopp said Liverpool “hate” their pre-season defeat to Manchester United in Bangkok, but admitted he was satisfied to get minutes into the majority of his squad.
The Reds were downed 4-0 by their rivals as part of a tour of the Far East, with goals for Jadon Sancho, Fred, Anthony Martial and Facundo Pellistri helping new boss Erik ten Hag to a win in his first game in charge.
Liverpool returned to pre-season training a week later than United, with some of their stars who took part in internationals in June only joining up with their team-mates over the weekend.
That meant Klopp chose to rotate the majority of his players in stints throughout the friendly, using 32 players in all, and the German admitted that after a truncated build-up for his squad, he was more relieved to give them game-time despite his frustration at the result.
“Obviously the game came a little bit too early for us, for some of our boys,” he told the club’s website after the clash in Thailand that saw new signings Fabio Carvalho and Darwin Nunez make their first appearances. “I think we agree that we saw a lot of good things in this game.
“But in the decisive moments we were not clear enough with finishing our situations off. We gave massive chances away. United did well in these moments, they finished the situations off.
“The most important thing now after the game, even when I hate losing, everybody has 30 minutes in their legs now.”
According to Opta, Liverpool actually had a higher expected goals rate (xG) in the game of 1.7 to United’s 1.5, taking 18 shots to their more ruthless opponents’ nine.
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Liverpool will complete their trip to Asia with a clash on Friday against Crystal Palace in Singapore, before they head back to Europe for matches in Germany and Austria against RB Leipzig and Red Bull Salzburg.
Klopp admitted the time differences and frantic schedule presented difficulties, but took time to hail the club’s hosts in Bangkok, who provided a raucous atmosphere at Rajamangala Stadium.
“It’s tough but [we are] not on tours for a long time, so we do it now and from here to Singapore,” he added. “I think we fly two-and-a-half hours so that should be fine. Then on Saturday we already go home again, so that’s fine.
“The welcome here was fantastic and I am pretty sure in Singapore it will be similar. It was really, really good but [it was just] not the result we wanted [in the end].”