Jurgen Klopp admitted Liverpool’s defending against Bournemouth almost made him vomit, but took responsibility himself for the costly errors.
Having tried to close out the game at 2-1, having recovered from going behind to a gift of a goal for Benik Afobe in only the seventh minute, they were undone in the 87th minute when they failed to clear a long throw and Josh King equalised.
With Stoke, West Brom, Crystal Palace and Watford their next four matches, Klopp and his players can expect to have their set-piece frailties tested to the maximum.
“We could close the game in one moment, we didn’t, we left it open,” said Klopp, who switched to a back three after being forced to take off goalscorer Philippe Coutinho after he was ill at half-time.
“Then a second ball after a set-piece and that made me nearly vomit, actually. That’s not nice but we have to take it. It’s my responsibility, all of this.
“I have to be clearer in these situations, obviously, but I will find a solution for this.
“It should be disappointing – that’s really important – but we have to take it like it is, one point more than before.
It’s not what we wanted but could have been worse, actually.
“We all know we lost games like this already in the season and (last night) we didn’t.
“Maybe we can take this as a positive and then drive to Stoke and try to do better.”
Coutinho and Divock Origi, back in the starting lineup because of a knee cartilage injury to Sadio Mane which is likely to rule him out for the remainder of the season, scored either side of half-time to put Liverpool in the driving seat – only for them to self-destruct in the closing moments.
Liverpool’s impressive record against the Premier League’s top six this season is well documented – unbeaten in 10 games and five wins.
Yet their last six league defeats have come against teams in the bottom half of the table.
Although they have equalled last season’s points tally with seven games remaining, this result will feel like a defeat for a team looking to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 2014.
Burnley, Bournemouth, Swansea City, Hull City and Leicester City have all beaten the Reds this season, while bottom club Sunderland have also held Liverpool.
This will go down as another missed opportunity.
Meanwhile, after an eight-match winless league start to 2017, Bournemouth are now unbeaten in five as they edge towards securing a third successive season in England’s top-flight.
Eddie Howe’s side showed character and spirit as they added another big name to their list of creditable draws.
Tottenham, Manchester United and Arsenal have all been frustrated by the Cherries this season, while Liverpool have taken just one point off the south coast team.
Back in December, Nathan Ake struck a 93rd-minute winner to earn Bournemouth, who had trailed 0-2 and 1-3, a 4-3 win over the Reds.