Jurgen Klopp has conceded that Liverpool have it all to do in the title race and admits that current performances are not at the required level to retain their Premier League crown.
The Reds went almost four years without losing a Premier League game at Anfield. However, successive defeats to Burnley and Brighton have left Liverpool struggling to stay in title contention. Indeed, earlier this month the Reds manager suggested a new, more realistic target for his players.
Liverpool’s credentials face arguably their biggest test yet when league leaders Manchester City arrive at Anfield on Sunday. While City don’t often travel well to Anfield, they are in incredible form. Indeed, a win on Sunday would be a 13th straight win in all competitions. It would also put them 10 points clear of Klopp’s troops in the title race.
Klopp is well aware of what is at stake on Sunday, having admitted their run of two wins in eight games is simply not good enough.
“The gap to City… I am manager of Liverpool and so you ask and I have to say we want to be champions but you need games for it and we need performances for it and we don’t have that,” said Klopp.
“We fight for three points, it is not decided who will get the three points on Sunday. We have to play better and we will try.
“These gaps are not interesting at the moment. They are the result of the results we had already.
“What we can influence is the next game. Against Brighton it was not enough. We know that and we have to change that.”
Klopp admits injury struggles
Liverpool were missing Sadio Mane and Alisson Becker on Wednesday, while Diogo Jota continues to miss out. Add into the mix the absence of Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk and that is five likely starters Liverpool were forced to do without.
Indeed, the lengthy absence of so many stars appears to have taken its toll on Liverpool this season. Klopp also admits that the added workload on those that remain is probably catching up on his side.
“Brighton rightly so won the game, deserved. They were fresher than us tonight, they did more good things than we did and we lost too many easy balls,” Klopp added.
“We didn’t create a lot, for me the team looked tonight, fatigued, mentally fatigued and that leads to not the best play as well.
“We were not fresh enough which means we were not good enough to break the formation of Brighton.”