Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insisted under-fire goalkeeper Adrian was not to blame for the Premier League champions’ 7-2 humbling against Aston Villa.

Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian© Getty Images Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian
It was a forgettable outing for Liverpool, who conceded seven goals in a game for the first time since a 7-2 defeat to Tottenham in April 1963.

Liverpool were without first-choice goalkeeper Alisson due to a shoulder injury and the visitors were put to the sword in stunning fashion at Villa Park, where Ollie Watkins scored a first-half hat-trick on Sunday.

Back-up keeper Adrian was forced to collect the ball from his own net within four minutes after his wayward pass to Joe Gomez was seized upon by Villa captain Jack Grealish, who squared for Watkins to slot home.

Grealish had a brace and there were goals for John McGinn and Villa debutant Ross Barkley, while Reds star Mohamed Salah scored on either side of the break as Liverpool became the first reigning English top-flight champions to concede seven goals in a league match since Arsenal against Sunderland in 1953.

Afterwards, Klopp leapt to the defence of Adrian following confirmation that Alisson will not return for the Merseyside derby against Everton on October 17.

“Not only because of tonight, it’s now easy and people are like this – I’m not sure if journalists are like this as well – but now people will go for Adrian and stuff like this,” Klopp told reporters.

“Yes, the first goal was not cool, of course. But apart from that, I don’t think he had anything to do with all the other goals pretty much. We didn’t help him tonight, let me say it like this, or we even did the opposite. He’s a really good goalie who played 11 [Premier League] games for us last year and I think we won pretty much all of them.

“It’s all fine. Our goalie was not the problem [against Villa]. Only around the first goal. And the reaction for that first goal was not his problem, that was then our problem. We have to do that better, we can do that better.”

Klopp added: “It’s quite strange when you see a game like this, not that I saw these games like 20 times from my team, I see all these things and I’m old enough to know strange things can happen in life and in football.

“But I saw all the things that happened tonight and I know that if you lose the decisive challenges you will lose football games. We did that tonight. If you protect your own offensive stuff not properly, you will get in trouble. And we got in trouble tonight. And all these things happened tonight. You could see in moments – and I don’t think I had to say that a lot – but tonight in different challenges Aston Villa definitely wanted it more than us.

“That’s something I saw and I don’t like obviously, but now the boys go to their national teams and when they come back – hopefully healthy, all of them – then we have two days’ time to prepare the Everton game and then we have the chance to do better.”