Simon Mignolet believes Liverpool can learn from the Carabao Cup loss to Chelsea and factor elements into their preparations ahead of the teams meeting again in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge this weekend.
The Reds exited the tournament at the third-round stage on Wednesday night following a 2-1 defeat by the Blues at Anfield, with late strikes from Emerson and Eden Hazard cancelling out Daniel Sturridge’s opener.
The sides will clash once more on Saturday evening as Jürgen Klopp’s men will look to bounce back by extending their advantage over Chelsea to five points in the fledgling table - and Mignolet feels the post-match analysis at Melwood in the next few days can prove beneficial in helping Liverpool ready themselves for the challenge of trying to clinch a victory in London.
He told Liverpoolfc.com: “I think we didn’t deserve to go out of the competition. We had enough chances to win the game and go forward, but unfortunately, we lost it in the end and we go out of a competition we wanted to win.
“It’s a disappointment, but we don’t have much time to reflect on it and have to go forward. Again, it’s a game against Chelsea [next], so we’ll learn the lessons from tonight’s game and hopefully we can beat them on Saturday.
“There is not much time to pick ourselves up, but I don’t think you can prepare for it any better than facing the opponent three days before. We have to learn from it, try to do better and then hopefully get the three points at Chelsea on Saturday.”
After Chelsea had begun the cup tie strongly at Anfield, Liverpool found their feet in the contest and Sturridge’s well-taken opener was a deserved one.
The Reds had further opportunities to extend their advantage but were unable to capitalise, which led to them ultimately being punished in the final 10 minutes by Emerson’s close-range finish and a stunning solo effort from Hazard.
Mignolet added: “We created a lot of chances for a second and even third goal, but it didn’t happen. They came back into the game after the free-kick and then my fellow countryman made a great goal, which is very, very disappointing but we have to learn from it, take it forward and make sure it doesn’t happen again on Saturday.”
Mignolet’s inclusion in goal was one of eight changes made by Klopp from Saturday’s win over Southampton as he replaced Alisson Becker between the sticks.
“I was pleased to be on the pitch,” he said. “It was a while since I’ve played, but I felt good in the game. To be on the pitch again was really nice and I think I did my job the best I could.
“I keep trying to work hard in training, like I always do, and help the team when needed. That’s all I can do, really.
“You want to play, that’s the only thing you can do, but in training we push each other. Me and Alisson work together on a good basis, our relationship has been good ever since we came together and then we’ve got a few younger boys who are pushing us forward as well.
“We have a good group and the only thing we can do is put out the best goalkeeper for Liverpool Football Club. In the end, that’s the most important thing.”
As well as the No.22, there were also first appearances of the season for Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne and Alberto Moreno, as well as a maiden start for Fabinho.
Mignolet continued: “With the squad we have, we have so many good players. We made eight changes, but you saw what kind of line-up we can put out against Chelsea – and that’s credit to the squad we’ve got.
“There’s a lot of competition for places and cup competitions like this are chances for us to play, but we have to accept it and move forward. The only thing we can do is try to push the 11 who are starting on Saturday to make sure they do their jobs.”
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Dejan Lovren is targeting a rapid return to 100 per cent fitness after making his first appearance of the season for Liverpool on Wednesday.
The centre-back made his comeback following a pelvic injury by starting the Reds’ 2-1 defeat to Chelsea in the third round of the Carabao Cup at Anfield.
The match marked Lovren’s first outing since the World Cup final in July and, while it ended in a disappointing result, the Croatia international is hopeful of building on a valuable 90-minute run-out as he works his way back to peak condition.
“After this injury that I had it’s good to be back with the team and to have a couple of minutes or all the minutes on the pitch,” the No.6 told Liverpoolfc.com.
“I’m quite happy, so hopefully I can be much, much fitter in the next couple of games. I carried it [the injury] for a long time, to be honest, and hopefully it’s everything behind me so I can be 100 per cent again.”
Goals by Emerson and Eden Hazard completed a late turnaround for Chelsea after Daniel Sturridge had acrobatically put Liverpool ahead on the hour mark of Wednesday’s tie.
The Reds carved out a number of opportunities throughout the contest but were not at their clinical best, leaving the door ajar for Maurizio Sarri’s team to mount a fightback.
Lovren continued: “Obviously we had the game in our control. We scored and we played quite well, we had also a couple of big chances but we weren’t deadly enough today like these previous games.
“And then in the last 10 minutes they came back and unfortunately they scored a second goal and then we couldn’t come back again.”
Jürgen Klopp’s side have a chance to exorcise their frustrations quickly, though, when they travel to Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Saturday.
A weekend win over the Blues would ensure Liverpool remain top of the table by virtue of recording seven successive victories at the start of the top-flight season, and Lovren is anticipating an improved performance in west London.
“Maybe this is tonight like a warm-up for Saturday and so we know what we need to do better,” he said.
“When you look altogether, it’s the first time that we played like that, [there were] a lot of changes and it was looking quite well, until of course they scored a second goal… but we will take it.
“On Saturday we have a big game against them and we will improve, definitely. I’m confident that we will do much, much better.”