Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has admitted that his team’s 4-3 defeat to Bournemouth on Sunday was a “huge blow” in their quest for the Premier League title.

Before the game, Liverpool were four points clear at the top of the table and had not lost a league game in 15 matches. But the defeat to Bournemouth, who were 14th in the table, means that Liverpool are now just a point ahead of second-placed Chelsea, and could be overtaken by Arsenal and Manchester City if they win their games in hand.

Klopp said after the game: “It’s a huge blow. We wanted to show that we can stay in the race for the title, but we didn’t. It’s not the result we wanted, but we have to accept it and move on.”

Liverpool started well against Bournemouth, with Sadio Mane scoring the opening goal in the 20th minute. But Bournemouth quickly equalised through Callum Wilson, and then went ahead with goals from Ryan Fraser and Steve Cook.

Liverpool fought back with a goal from Georginio Wijnaldum, but Bournemouth then regained their two-goal advantage with a goal from Nathan Ake. Liverpool scored a late consolation goal through Divock Origi, but it was too little too late.

Klopp admitted that his team’s defending was not good enough, and that they were punished by Bournemouth’s fast counter-attacks. He said: “We defended poorly and we paid the price. We gave them too much space and we didn’t close down quickly enough. We have to learn from this and improve our defending.”

The defeat to Bournemouth was Liverpool’s second in five days, following their loss to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League. Klopp said that he was disappointed with his team’s performances in both games, but that they had to move on and focus on the next game.

He said: “We have to take the positives from these games and learn from our mistakes. We know what we have to do to improve, and we will work hard to put things right.”

Liverpool’s next game is against Napoli in the Champions League, and Klopp said that it was a must-win game for his team. He said: “It’s a huge game for us, and we have to win it. We need to show that we can bounce back from the defeat to Bournemouth, and that we can still compete at the highest level.”

After the game, Liverpool’s players and fans were disappointed, but Klopp urged them to remain positive and optimistic. He said: “We still have a long way to go in the season, and we are still in a good position. We have to believe in ourselves and keep pushing towards our goals.”

Despite the setback, Klopp’s positive message is likely to be heeded by Liverpool’s players and fans, who have seen a huge improvement under his leadership. Liverpool have not won the Premier League since 1990, but under Klopp’s guidance, they have become one of the best teams in Europe.

The defeat to Bournemouth is a reminder that Liverpool still have some weaknesses to address, particularly in their defending. But with Klopp at the helm, Liverpool’s fans can still believe that they can win the league, and that their team is capable of competing with the very best.