Hoffenheim boss says team were 'like headless chickens' vs. Liverpool
LIVERPOOL -- Hoffenheim manager Julian Nagelmann was highly critical of his side after the 4-2 defeat to Liverpool on Wednesday night, saying his team played "like headless chickens" at Anfield.
The Bundesliga side were comprehensively beaten 6-3 on aggregate by Jurgen Klopp's team in their two-legged Champions League playoff.
Hoffenheim found themselves 3-0 down just 21 minutes into the second leg, and their 30-year-old manager criticised the way his players began the match.
Speaking at his postmatch news conference, Nagelsmann said: "The tactical structure of our game was not the cause for what happened, it was more to do with that we didn't implement the game plan we had discussed.
"We didn't start the match well at all. We were running around like headless chickens and didn't implement that order we were going to use.
"Liverpool played just the way they did in the first leg. They scored the exact same goals they score in the Premier League. The difference was that we played well in the first leg and today we weren't playing well.
"Maybe the team was a bit too emotional. The additional factor is maybe that in the first 30 minutes, there were two or three players who seemed to not be on the pitch.
"It was not all down to Liverpool's quality, it was also down to the way we didn't play the game we should have. My job is to analyse everything and that's what I'm going to do."
Nagelsmann was then asked by a reporter why he chose to sit in the dugout for the opening 25 minutes, rather than in the technical area.
"It's a mixed bag. There were a combination of factors" he responded. "One thing was that the chair was quite comfortable.
"But it was also the impression that the game was over and we weren't playing well at all. Then you have to admit that your opponent is better than you.
"There's no point trying to produce yourself in the technical area and standing up when the score is 4-1 and you haven't had a shot on goal for 20 minutes.
"There's no point in playing to the gallery and producing yourself in front cameras so people can say: 'Oh, Mr Nagelsmann has still been trying things.' That's not my style. If there's no point in standing than I won't stand."
Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.