Lorenzo Insigne’s 90th-minute winner gave Napoli a deserved 1-0 victory over the Reds at the San Paolo.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side produced a dominant performance against a muted Liverpool team that failed to muster a single shot on target in a Champions League game for the first time since a 1-0 defeat to Benfica in February 2006.
While Klopp admitted his side’s defeat was a fair result, former Liverpool man Steve Nicol believes the loss could have been avoided with some simple defensive changes.
“The second half was all Napoli,” he said on ESPN FC.
“I understand Klopp’s philosophy about opening it up and playing regardless of whether you’re home and away.
“But there comes a time where you have to change and he doesn’t change anything.”
The former Reds defender praised Alisson, Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez for playing “heroically”, however, he criticised Klopp’s decision not to get his front three to help defend at times.
“But you persist in having three forwards up front,” he contined.
“You’ve got [Sadio] Mane on one side, [Mohamed] Salah on the other and [Roberto] Firmino in the middle.
“Napoli are streaming through the middle of the park getting at the back four and you could see it coming.
“If we can see it coming why can’t Klopp see it coming?
“At least get Mane and Salah to tuck in and help the full-backs.
“It’s a shame because a 0-0 result would have put Liverpool in pole position to qualify.”
Liverpool face reigning Premier League champions, and title rivals, Manchester City at Anfield on Sunday.
And Klopp admits the match represents a stern challenge for his team.
“Yes, it is a tough game [v City],” Klopp said. “Absolutely.
“And you have seen it has been absolutely intense since the last international break with the games we’ve had – twice Chelsea and stuff like that, coming to Napoli, playing PSG and now we have the game on Sunday against Man City.
“We cannot change that, so we have to make sure we are ready. You [the media] were all full of praise about the season we played so far and stuff like that.
“Now tonight, we didn’t perform and that’s how football works – against a good side in the Champions League, you lose. That’s happened and not more. We don’t have to think now about intensity or whatever.
“We have three days to recover and then we will face Man City. It would have been difficult at any time in the season, it is never easy against them.
“Now, let’s have a look afterwards, how the players are, what happened in the game, injury-wise, little knocks and stuff like that. Then we will prepare for Sunday.
“Then we have our crowd in the back. You could see tonight, Napoli used the atmosphere and we couldn’t calm it down with our performance. But on Sunday that – at least – will be 100 per cent different.”