Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3: Jamie Carragher blasts 'unacceptable' defending as Liverpool see title hopes fade
Mamadou Sakho and Martin Skrtel have been criticised by Gary Neville for their defending in the closing stages while Carragher admits the Reds have not handled the pressure of a title charge
Jamie Carragher has branded Liverpool’s 3-3 draw against Crystal Palace “unacceptable” and has targeted centre-back pairing Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho with his stinging criticism that has seen the Reds “throw away the Premier League title”.
Before kick-off, Liverpool knew they would have to hope for rivals Manchester City to slip-up in one of their remaining two matches, or overturn a goal difference deficit if they were to end their 24 year wait for a league success.
But when Luis Suarez struck in the second half to put Liverpool 3-0 up, fans of the Merseyside club would have been forgiven for turning their attentions to overcoming the goal difference gap between themselves and City. Unfortunately for Liverpool, the players had also let their heads drift, and were guilty of conceding three goals in 12 minutes as Damien Delaney and Dwight Gayle turned the tie on its head.
Read more: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3 match report
Nasri says 'I love' Crystal Palace
Glen Johnson slams 'clueless sofa experts'
Carragher was in the Sky Sports studio to analyse the match alongside Gary Neville, and the former England international was scathing in his assessment of how Liverpool let their lead and title challenge slip away in the most dramatic of fashions.
“Defensively they're not up to being Premier League champions,” said Carragher.
“Sakho makes you nervous. They always concede together. It's not good enough.
“That final 20 minutes was unacceptable. They concede too many goals.
“The back four and defensive side of this team have shown they can't cope with pressure. They're not leaders."
He continued: “You can't keep inviting pressure. They got out of jail at Norwich the other week and haven't learned their lesson; It's gone on and on over the past few months.
“Well tonight they haven't and have thrown away the Premier League title.”
After Carragher had his say, Neville highlighted just what the defeat meant to the away fans at Selhurst Park, who were visibly distraught with the result after they appeared to be on the path of an impressive victory against a Palace side who concede few goals at home.
Read more: Is the draw such a bad result for Liverpool?
Spur Twitter account hacked - then mocks Gerrard
Five things we learnt
Neville admitted that the club might question when they will win the title, given that this season has been perceived as a year when the rest of their rivals – barring Arsenal – have been weaker due to managerial upheaval and squad reconstructions.
“Liverpool are going to be wondering when they're going to win the league again,” Neville said.
“The others are going to be so strong in the coming years.
“They've thrown it away. They are desolate, the Liverpool fans. That third goal was a shocker.
“The two centre-backs [Skrtel and Sakho] aren't leading or communicating. You need your back four to be tight, strong and to stay together.”
Liverpool do still have a chance of winning the league, as do Chelsea, but will need City to slip-up when they take on Aston Villa on Wednesday and West Ham on Sunday.
Harry Potter actor suffered 'severe flu-like symptoms' on a flight from London to Orlando
First full-length look is finally here
World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'
Latest in Sport
Brooklyn Beckham poses in Arsenal training kit following rumours of signing for the Gunners
Manchester United transfer news and rumours: David De Gea could leave for FREE; £38m for Marquinhos; £37m bid for Mats Hummels;
Transfer news LIVE: Manchester United to make £37m Mats Hummels bid; Inter plan Yaya Toure move; Shola Ameobi joins Crystal Palace
Australian Open 2015: Novak Djokovic vs Stan Wawrinka match preview
Danny Ings to Liverpool: The Reds attempt to steal a march on rivals in race to sign Burnley striker
- 2 The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures