Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp gives up on Premier League title race
Liverpool FC has now lost five times in their last seven Premier League games. Their latest defeat comes at the the hands of Leicester City, where they succumbed 3-1 after leading 0-1 until the remaining 12 minutes of regulation time.
The last minute collapse allowed Leicester to stage an impressive comeback in the closing minutes of the game. The loss has effectively proven that Liverpool is not the same team it was a year ago and Klopp knows it.
As it stands, the reigning Premier League champions are sitting in fourth place with 40 points, 13 points behind leaders Manchester City. Worse, City still has a game in hand and they have the potential to further widen the gap.
Leicester is now second with 46 points, and Manchester United is close behind at 45 and also with a game in hand.
“I don’t think we can close the gap. We are not worrying about the title, we are not silly,” said Klopp, in a post-match interview following their latest setback.
It’s a big difference from their title-winning run in 2019-2020. A string of injuries has taken its toll on the squad, and they have now accumulated 24 fewer points than they did at the same time last year.
Some of the notable players that have been ruled out for extended periods are Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip. Liverpool is now having a crisis in their backline, having lost major contributors in their defence.
This was glaringly evident in their loss against Leicester, as they were unable to effectively defend their slim lead. Not only that, new loan signing Ozan Kabak’s error late in the game led to Leicester’s second goal. It came just three minutes after James Maddison had equalised for the Foxes.
Liverpool’s defence completely fell apart and Harvey Barnes took the opportunity to extend Leicester’s lead with five minutes remaining.
“We have to avoid mistakes and misunderstandings. Today we didn’t do that. The rest of the game was really good. First we have to perform again – results are massively related to the performance,” said Klopp, as quoted by the BBC.