Premier League • England

Carragher tears Liverpool duo to shreds as Klopp concedes title; makes alarming top-four admission

Jamie Carragher was unhappy with Liverpool after their 2-0 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park

Jamie Carragher was unhappy with Liverpool after their 2-0 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park

Liverpool have been told their hopes of the Premier League title are over with Jurgen Klopp writing off his chances of a fairytale ending and with Jamie Carragher pointing the finger at two players following their disappointing 2-0 defeat at Everton.

The German is now just four games away from walking away from Anfield after a brilliant eight-and-a-half-tear tenure that has already delivered seven major trophies, including the 2019 Champions League and the 2020 Premier League title.

However, the prospects of Liverpool adding a second English league crown to that list now appears remote after goals in either half from Jarrard Branthwaite and Dominic Calvert-Lewin sent the Reds crashing to a third defeat in five games to effectively kill off their title hopes.

As a result, the Merseysiders – who are closing in on a new manager with Arne Slot’s brand of “crazy, sexy football” proving a strong lure for Michael Edwards – will likely finish their time under Klopp in something of a downbeat fashion.

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They remain three points behind league leaders Arsenal, while third-place Manchester City – a point behind the Reds but with two games in hand – look sure to overtake them.

Reflecting on Wednesday’s loss at Goodison, Klopp conceded it had not been good enough from his side and has been quick to signal the end of any possible title challenge.

More alarmingly, he also admits the a top-four finish – and a place in next season’s Champions League – is far from guaranteed if they continue playing as they have.

Klopp fears Liverpool title hopes are over

Asked about his side’s Premier League title hopes after the game, a downbeat Klopp stated: “I understand it, it’s part of the business, but I don’t know why I have to answer this question.

“Honestly you can read the table, so should I say now that we are still fully in or what? Now we need a crisis at City and Arsenal.

“And we need to win football games. Because if they start losing all the games and we do what we did tonight, nothing changes.

“And we are not safe in the Champions League [places] either, so we should just play better football. That would be really good.”

When speaking to Sky Sports later, Klopp was asked again about their title chances.

“That must happen a lot. They must come in a very bad moment, Arsenal and Man City, and actually yesterday it didn’t look like that,” he said in reference to Arsenal’s thumping 5-0 win over Chelsea.

“I don’t know [if we’re still in the race]. I can only apologise to the people. Everybody who is with us knows how hard this is for us as well, but I know for other people it’s especially hard. So we should have done better but we didn’t and that’s why we lost.”

Speaking to Match of the Day, Klopp added: “Arsenal didn’t look very weak last night. We have to play better, that is it. We need points. We are not safe in the Champions League. Tottenham have played a lot of games less than us.”

Carragher blames Liverpool duo for Everton defeat

Carragher, meanwhile, was unhappy with Liverpool’s performance on the night and felt two players in particular let the Reds down at the home of their arch-rivals.

Casting the blame at Liverpool’s defensive showing, Carragher then went on to point the finger at Ibrahima Konate for his efforts in keeping Everton out.

“How many times have Liverpool given free kicks away? I mean, that is the name of the game for Everton,’ the Reds legend said on Sky Sports. “Liverpool need to sign a new defender because he’s not been good enough.

“Everton have been fantastic, certainly with the set pieces, they’ve looked like scoring on every single one.

“The amount of times Liverpool have given fouls away in their own half and Konate, what is he doing?! He doesn’t know where he is. He just sticks a leg out at it.

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“But Everton definitely deserved to go in front and deserved to get a goal from a set piece.”

Konate was subbed off after 63 minutes for Jarell Quansah, but the French defender was not the only player to be blamed for the defeat, with Argentina midfielder Alexis Mac Allister – often so reliable for Liverpool this season – also coming in for some strong criticism.

“The naivety of Liverpool in terms of how you play a derby game. They got away with one with the penalty.

“Forget this game, whenever you come to Goodison as a Liverpool player, there’s two rules that you’ll always do: You don’t give silly fouls away and get the crowd up, and you move the ball on quickly and don’t let tackles come in.

“Mac Allister in midfield, who has been fantastic for Liverpool this season, he’s given so many fouls away and he’s taking too long on the ball and he’s allowing people to tackle them and it lifts the crowd.”