Jurgen Klopp explains Liverpool slump after Premier League title race blow

The title is no longer in Liverpool’s hands after a shock defeat to Crystal Palace at Anfield

Richard Jolly
Senior Football Correspondent
Monday 15 April 2024 07:41 BST
(Getty Images)

Jurgen Klopp admitted Liverpool have struggled psychologically because of their failure to beat Manchester United after two games at Old Trafford ended their quadruple hopes and an awful four days may have meant they will not win either the Europa League or the Premier League.

Liverpool were knocked out of the FA Cup when they lost 4-3 to United in a March match they led 2-1 and 3-2 while they drew 2-2 against Erik ten Hag’s team last week, despite going ahead and having 28 shots.

And since then, they have lost 3-0 to Atalanta in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final and 1-0 to Crystal Palace, both at Anfield, as they have lost the initiative in the Premier League.

Klopp said: “I am not 100 pe rcent sure in general how we dealt with the United games particularly helped. We lost the game in the cup and it was like a catastrophe because we were that good and lost it anyway and then we draw there and were really good and draw it anyway.”

Liverpool have gone nine games without a clean sheet, including both trips to Old Trafford, conceding 15 goals in that time and Klopp added: “The problems we had in the United game were completely different to the things we had today. Yes, the goals we concede are too easy.”

Eberechi Eze got Palace’s winner after a 21-pass move and Klopp felt it was too easy as his side’s pressing game broke down.

“We were always too wide,” he added. “The goal we concede, it ends up with Eze completely free in the box and that cannot happen. Let me say it like that, if you press 80 per cent, you better don’t because it makes no sense. In more than 20 years when you watch my teams, the press and counter press is pretty good, some days it is outstanding. In the first half, it was nothing and then we were 1-0 down.”

Klopp accepted that if Liverpool play the way they did in the first half against Palace, they stand no chance of becoming champions but urged them to win their matches and hope their rivals slip up.

He added: “Of course you have to ask these questions of what it means for the title race, I am not dumb. The answer is pretty easy: if we play like we did in the first half, how should we win the league? If we play it like in the second half, we can win football games. If we can win football games, we will see how many we can win and then we have to we have to be around when the other guys struggle, if they struggle.

“For us, obviously we have to win games anyway. We have now a string of away games. That would have been tough anyway, it will be tough but we know that. We have to deal with that, and that is the easy thing. Now there is nothing else.”

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