A tetchy Jurgen Klopp insisted newly crowned Premier League champions Liverpool approached Thursday's clash with Manchester City with the right attitude.
Liverpool were playing their first game since City's loss to Chelsea ended their 30-year wait for the top-flight title but were second best throughout in a 4-0 defeat to the team they have deposed as champions.
Kevin De Bruyne's penalty set the tone and Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden made it 3-0 before half-time, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's own goal rounding off a miserable evening after a week to celebrate.
Reds manager Klopp was clearly in an irritated mood during a post-match interview with Sky Sports but was adamant he had no qualms about the desire of his team.
"I saw a brilliant attitude, I saw boys who were fighting with everything we have. [It's not that] we didn't behave like somebody who became champion a week ago, [that] it's not important, so that was awkward," said Klopp, whose side lost for just the second time in the Premier League this season.
"We lacked fluidity and in some situations, 50-50s, they were just quicker than us in mind, that's true as well, that's what they use.
"Then the pitch becomes big immediately. The first goal we left Joe [Gomez] it felt like five minutes alone in a challenge with Sterling and there must be a second player.
"I think before the second goal we lose the ball, the third goal could have been [dealt with better] which makes no sense, but it can happen against City that you can have massive problems.
"They used their chances, not all but a lot, and we didn't. So, City were 100 per cent deserving today, but a 5-3 or something like that would have been possible as well. It doesn't make the things better, but now it's 4-0, we have to take that and that's it."
With Liverpool's focus perhaps not as high as it normally would be against City, Klopp was pressed on if perspective must be given to the result.
The usually amiable German again defended his team, though, and said the result was more down to City's own vast quality.
"If you wanna lead this story in the direction that we were not focused on that game then do it, that's the second time I spoke about attitude, I like my team how they set up, I said that and I thought it's clear," he added.
"If you go again with that, I think we proved that point and we proved as well that City is an unbelievable team.
"Isn't it nice in this league that another team can be champion even when City is around and can play this kind of football, isn't that a surprise as well?
"City is outstanding, I said that, I have to give them credit. By the way I do that always because they are incredible.