Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp insists the defensive frailties which cost his side victory against Sevilla cannot be solved merely in the transfer market.
The Reds opened their Champions League campaign with a 2-2 draw on Wednesday night, although a series of defensive errors – coupled with a missed penalty from Roberto Firmino – gifted the Spanish club a crucial point at Anfield.
Liverpool were heavily linked with Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk throughout the summer, although Klopp was eventually forced to abandon a move for the Netherlands international after the Saints accused the Reds of making an illegal approach for the player.
Klopp, however, refused to blame Liverpool’s early-season defensive woes on the club’s failure to sign Van Dijk.
“I know you are always looking for this thing – the defence was always something being talked about: ‘We didn’t sign this or that’,” he said.
“If these problems could be solved by one player, you can imagine we would have put all our money into it and say: ‘Let’s do this’.
“It is about being dominant and losing a bit of a grip on the game in all the defensive moments. There is space for improvement. We need to learn to be dominant and not give easy goals.
“It is not a general defending problem but we have to improve 100 per cent.”
Liverpool fell behind just five minutes into their Champions League return after Dejan Lovren’s slip allowed Wissam Ben Yedder to put Sevilla ahead with a simple finish.
Firmino levelled for the Reds from close-range midway through the first half before a heavily deflected strike from Mohamed Salah handed the hosts a deserved lead at the interval.
However, with 18 minutes to go, Joaquin Correa was allowed to equalise after Liverpool’s defence switched off from a seemingly innocuous throw-in.
“It is disappointment, frustration, but that is completely normal,” added Klopp.
“We are responsible for the very good parts in the game and also the not-so-good parts so you have to feel disappointed after a game like this.”