Brendan Rodgers believes Leicester City have shown they have closed the gap on Liverpool as he revealed the half-time message that helped undo his former club.
The Reds dominated the first half and deservedly went ahead midway through the second half with Mohamed Salah ’s 23rd goal of the season.
However, three goals in seven minutes – including a contentious VAR call and another howler from Alisson Becker – earned Leicester a 3-1 win at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.
And Rodgers was delighted with the reaction of his players to going behind.
“I said before the game this was going to be a measure of the team, maybe a year ago that would have disappointed us,” he said.
“It was a very good goal from a top side. Our reaction throughout the game was very good.
“We should have been in front first half, We had three really good chances.
“The way the players coped second half, I was so happy. We got the goals and had to soak it up in defence.
“ Liverpool made a good start to the game and in the first half we were more passive than I would have liked and I was forceful about that at half-time, I said we needed to be more aggressive against a top team.
“They are a top team, that’s why they are champions. Look at the quality of the front line and the midfield, you know you have to play very well to win.”
Leicester’s equaliser came after Thiago Alcantara was initially adjudged to have fouled Harvey Barnes in the area.
VAR ruled the tackle occurred just outside, with James Maddison scoring direct from the free-kick after another check for a possible offside.
“You are hoping you are going to get the penalty then when you see it back you see it is offside,” said Rodgers.
“It was fantastic ball in from a narrow angle, you are ideally crossing it to score and hopefully somebody gets a touch on it.
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“You are then waiting to make sure it’s a goal and thankfully we got it and that gets us back in the game again.”
Liverpool are now six points behind second-placed Leicester City and a mammoth 13 adrift of leaders Manchester City, who have a game in hand.
That prompted Jurgen Klopp to concede the title, although Rodgers was uncertain what to make of the assertion.
“I don’t know,” he said. “That is Jurgen’s freedom. What I know is they’ve set an incredible level over the last few seasons and he has done a brilliant job with the team.
“With 14 games to go, there’s still a long, long way to go. He’ll speak about how he feels and if he feels that’s the case, that’ll be something for him to look at with his team.”