Jürgen Klopp felt Sadio Mané's red card was "very unlucky" and insisted his Liverpool team should not be too disheartened despite their 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City.
With Sergio Agüero having put Pep Guardiola's men ahead, Mané received his marching orders on 37 minutes after his boot connected with the face of City goalkeeper Ederson in racing for a loose ball.
That virtually ended the game as a contest as Gabriel Jesus headed in City's second before half-time, the Brazilian and substitute Leroy Sané then compiling the Reds' misery by extending their advantage to five.
But Klopp, although having suffered the heaviest defeat of his Liverpool reign, says his side cannot afford brood over the result and must instead focus on moving on.
Mané "very, very, very upset" about red card
Predictably asked about the contentious Mané red card, Klopp insisted it was both "an accident" and "a very unlucky situation", adding: "I think everyone knows Sadio did not see the goalie. It was not for one second that he had a look at the goalie. He just wanted to get the ball as soon as possible."
The German said that is what the red card "happened" and admitted they "cannot change it anymore" as he also expressed his hope that Ederson "is not seriously injured."
He noted that "in the first moment" it appeared as though the Brazilian had sustained a serious injury but that "after the game he was in the dugout" which Klopp means "hopefully it is not too serious."
The Reds boss revealed that Mané was "very, very, very upset" in the changing room and that he, his staff and his team-mates "couldn't keep him up" mentally because he was "shocked about the situation" and "also about the decision."
"If the leg is not where the leg is, you can also say it is a foul from the goalie. What can I say?" suggested Klopp, acknowledging that "in the end" it was a red and that "enough people will find enough reasons to say it is the right decision."
He admitted that that they "cannot it change it anymore" but lamented that the decision "had a big influence on the game."
We have to accept the result, but it would've been different 11-vs-11
On the goals his side conceded, Klopp said: "Yes, they [Liverpool's defenders] could've done better, of course, but we could've done better with the ball. Also in the second-half, a lot of things - you don't lose 5-0 when a lot of things are right, but it's not that I'm concerned in the long-term."
He insisted that City would be making "a mistake" if they were to "take too much confidence from this game" but also said: "If we lose too much confidence because of this game we also make a mistake. After the international break, one man down, young players on the pitch in different positions; it was hard for the boys."
Klopp declared that his side "don't look for excuses" and that they had no influence on the red card, insisting that "it was not a foul but at the end it was a red card" which they "have to accept."
"We were not overly aggressive or something like this, and that changed the game today," he continued, questioning "what would happened" if the two teams had played 11-versus-11 for the full 90 minutes.
Klopp also dismissed suggestions of being encouraged by Liverpool's performances in the first 30 minutes when they took the game to the home team and regularly found joy down the flanks.
Mohamed Salah's pace kept Nicolás Otamendi occupied while Mané's trickery regularly threatened to open up City's unprotected back-line, though the visitors' final ball and end product was underwhelming.
Klopp insisted that he expects as much from his players that they are "stronger in the first half-an-hour" as he explained that both sides "did not really defend well" in the opening exchanges.
He felt that because "both teams were not really compact" they "had a lot of chances", insisting Liverpool were too difficult to defend for City as the home side picked up "two yellow cards on the 18-yard line."
We were very unlucky for much of the game
The German added: "It was, in a lot of moments, very unlucky for us but I don't think we have to think too much about luck because we cannot change it. But we can change performance."
He acknowledged the difficulty of returning from international duty where several of his players "played in different positions" with "different jobs" and in "different systems and all that stuff."
Yet Klopp admitted his frustrations because he felt Liverpool "should have been in the lead in the first-half" and that "everything was good" even when City were 1-0 up.
He noted that City "made a little bit of pressure" for the opening goal having not played with "too high pressure" up until then, which meant Mignolet "could only shoot the long ball."
Klopp felt there was "a little foul" on Gini Wijnaldum as Fernandinho found Kevin De Bruyne, adding that "because of the long ball" they "didn't push up" which meant "two players were around Ragnar [Klavan] and one of them [Agüero] could get the ball."
He said that City enjoyed "two or three similar situations in the second-half" which made "no sense" because Liverpool know they "can be really good."
"After we have spoken about this I will try to help the boys to ignore the result today. Not the mistakes we made, but the result, because it's already done," Klopp elaborated.
He said that they "should have scored" and "should have had more chances" as he mentioned that Salah was "three or four times on the touchline in the 18-yard box or even the six-yard box" but "nobody was at the front post."
Players will learn from heavy defeat
Referencing his half-time team talk, Klopp said that while there were things he could "speak about and change" for the second 45, with 10 men it was "a difficult situation."
He bemoaned that his side were not "in the right space" and using "the offside line" to stop City creating chances.
"It was difficult, but we could have done better in the second-half," Klopp said as he reflected upon "a hard lesson" which he backed his players to "learn from."
"What we also need to learn from the first-half is that we need to influence the game in another direction, we need to score here. I think everyone saw it, so it was obvious," he said.
Providing further analysis on his team's defending, Klopp also reiterated that neither side were "really compact" but insisted that City did not defend "perfectly" and were still able to win 5-0.
"We were not compact enough, all three up front were not really involved, we didn't jump in the midfield on Fernandinho. It was one, two passes, and Fernandinho could turn, that was the first problem only because he had the ball and could play it to De Bruyne and David Silva, but they didn't create many things from this," Klopp scrutinised.
He felt that Liverpool were "at a maximum of 60 per-cent" even though they had chances to score and said that he doesn't "care about the result too much."
"You can create again chances, do this better and be more clinical in the other situations and you will score goals," he insisted. "Obviously [it] all went against us, and the good moments we could not use and the bad moments give us the punch. That's how it was."