Liverpool’s treble dreams were dashed with a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea in the FA Cup on Tuesday.
Jurgen Klopp has made his feelings about the competition clear this season, even skipping their fourth-round replay against Shrewsbury Town, but at Stamford Bridge he named regulars such as Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Sadio Mane in his starting line-up.
But the Reds were mightily poor and deserved to crash out.
They fell behind in the 13th minute when goalkeeper Adrian fumbled Willian's shot into the net.
The Spaniard, starting in place of Alisson Becker, should have kept the ball out but a lapse in concentration saw the ball bounce past him.
That's not how Klopp saw it, though.
The Liverpool boss came to Adrian's defence and instead claimed that the FA Cup ball caused the 'keeper to spill Willian's shot.
"The first goal, we lose a ball, what was it 18, 19 yards in front of the goal?," Klopp said, per the Daily Mail.
"The specific characteristic of the ball and Willian's shooting technique made life really difficult.
"Before that Adrian saved a sensational ball. He caught the ball and quick restart, which was a good idea, but not everybody was ready.
"Fabinho was surprised by the pass. We wanted to play like this but we lose that ball and they finish it off."
Among Klopp's past excuses include the wind, the snow and the pitch. You can now add the ball to the list.
In truth, his side were second best at Stamford Bridge and can no longer match Manchester United's treble-winning side of 1998/1999.
But you get the sense that the German isn't overly bothered.
He's aware of the desire to see Liverpool win the Premier League for the first time in their history and has neglected other competitions to achieve that goal.
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