Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has vowed to keep pushing, but admits his side are fighting for a top-four finish, rather than the title, after their chastising home defeat to Manchester City.
A 4-1 loss at Anfield left 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.
“We knew that from the beginning of the season. You have to fight for the Champions League,” said Klopp.
“Three or four years ago we were in that spot pretty much all season and then Chelsea started chasing us.
“Whoever is in front of us, we will chase them, definitely. I saw a lot of good stuff (against City), a really good football game where I didn’t see the points difference.
“I saw a really good football team in red shirts.”
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 another goal for Gundogan and Raheem Sterling’s first at Anfield since leaving in 2015.
Foden blasted home a fourth late on to consign Liverpool to a third successive home league defeat for the first time since 1963.
“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.”