Graeme Souness has told Liverpool to forget all about winning the title and to concentrate on ensuring they don’t miss out on a top-four finish following their bruising home defeat to Manchester City.
A 4-1 loss at Anfield left Jurgen Klopp’s side 10 points behind the current leaders, who have played one match fewer. As such, their title hopes look as good as over – not that the Reds boss was letting Sky’s Geoff Shreeves get off lightly.
Liverpool are now looking over their shoulder as the race for Champions League qualification becomes their priority. Chelsea and West Ham are only a point behind with Everton, who have two matches in hand, just three back.
Having been branded “bad champions” by Roy Keane, a deflated Klopp has now set his side a new target. He also had these words of comfort for deflated keeper Alisson.
Following their loss, Souness now thinks Liverpool need to reallign their targets.
Asked whether the title race is over, Souness told Sky Sports: “I think so. I don’t see them coming back from that. City were the better team. Nothing in it in the first half. City were better second half.
“Alisson has made mistakes he doesn’t normally make and it’s such a boost to City who went into another gear.
“The final goal, from the young man, was on another level. Without Alisson’s mistakes it’s a close game. Does the scoreline flatter City? I think so a touch.
“It’s very easy to go overboard now. Alisson, who we don’t normally associate with making mistakes like that, has made the result a flattering one for City.”
Asked specifically about their title prospects, Souness told the Reds in no uncertain terms to focus on other matters.
He added: “Their race is run. I think the big thing now for Liverpool is concentrating in getting into the top four. Because that’s not a given.”
Klopp won’t blame Alisson
Unfortunately for Klopp two uncharacteristic passing errors from goalkeeper Alisson Becker swung the game City’s way.
The Brazil international’s errant passing saw him give the ball first to Phil Foden and then Bernardo Silva, resulting in a second goal for Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling’s first at Anfield since leaving in 2015.
“He is obviously very disappointed and was like ‘Not today, not today’,” added Klopp.
“But that’s the problem with mistakes, you can’t decide when you make them. You have to learn from them.
“In a game when you have such a good moment these two goals were a killer. That’s OK as he saved our lives I don’t know how often.
“He is absolutely a world-class goalie. Something went wrong but we have to take that.”