Liverpool’s 68-game unbeaten home run has ended at the hands of Burnley with Jurgen Klopp declaring they did the “impossible” while one Liverpool legend says the title is “slipping away.”
It has been 438 minutes (7.3 hours) since Sadio Mane fired home a 12th minute goal for the defending champions – the last time the Reds found the back of the net.
Liverpool had 71.9 per cent of possession and 27 shots to Burnley’s six but managed to only place six on target in comparison to their rival’s four in the 1-0 loss.
Klopp’s men now sit six points adrift of the table-topping Red Devils and Reds legend Jamie Carragher had a brutal reality check for his former club.
“We were talking about a blip for Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp has come out and defended his players as you would expect because these players have done so much for Liverpool,” Carragher said on Sky Sports.
“They have just been so poor. You cannot quite believe what has happened to Liverpool in the last few weeks.
“You go from that 7-0 win at Palace to so many players out of form at the same time. It is his job to fix it – whether that is formations, personnel, however they go about it – but there are many teams challenging for that top four it will be a worry for Liverpool until they get out of this little run that they are on.”
You do not need to tell Klopp himself to take responsibility for the team’s woes at the moment.
Speaking to Sky Sports post-game, he declared it was his fault Liverpool lost a game he deemed “impossible” to drop.
“We lost a game which is pretty, actually impossible to lose but we did it,” he said.
“That’s my fault – my job is to make sure my boys have the right feelings, the right amount of confidence, they make the right decisions. But that didn’t work out. We had the ball a lot, we created some situations but in the final moment obviously our decision-making is not right anymore.
“It’s always my fault. The things that don’t work it’s my fault. When things go well, that’s because of the players. If I make clear which movements make absolute sense because it will hurt the opponent and we don’t do them, I have to make it clearer.”
Carragher though suggested the problem went deeper, calling out the playing group as “out of form and confidence.”
“At this moment it looks like the title is slipping away,” he said.
“Six points can still be recovered but the form Liverpool are in and the fixtures they have in the coming months, I think Liverpool fans will be worrying a little more about their top-four position than the title.”
“This is a massive drop off to what we’ve seen the last couple of years. It doesn’t feel as if Liverpool are going to score a goal.
“Delivery wise, Liverpool’s passing in and around the box has been awful.
“Liverpool look like a team out of form and out of confidence.”
Former Liverpool captain Graeme Souness does not buy into the claim that Liverpool are out of the title race, declaring “they are definitely not out of it” and can make up the six-point difference.
He did though have a key concern pre-game which played out in front of his very eyes against Burnley
“My concern tonight is in midfield, where Thiago, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wijnaldum start,” he said.
“Normally Liverpool’s midfield has been about intensity, aggressiveness, putting the ball under pressure at every opportunity, giving the opposition no rest and playing the ball in fast to the front three.
“I don’t think we will see that tonight; Thiago is a craftsman and the others are similar.”
While Liverpool seem a shadow of the dominant team that went all the way to the title last season, Klopp does not think it will take much to reverse their fortunes.
“That’s all true [not creating quality chances] but it’s not that we don’t create the chances because the players don’t have the ability to do so it is because our decision-making is the problem,” he said.
“The difference between a good footballer and very good footballer is decision-making, making the right stuff in the right moment. It’s not rocket science.
“We had the two biggest everyone saw, if we scored in that moment it would have changed a lot but we didn’t and left the game open and lost the game, which I can’t believe but it’s true and we have to accept that.”