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Jurgen Klopp admits that Liverpool cannot hope to retain their Premier League crown after a late collapse doomed them to a 3-1 loss at Leicester City.
Mohamed Salah opened the scoring at King Power Stadium on Saturday, but the Reds conceded three goals in the space of seven insane minutes.
The result means Liverpool have lost three in a row in the league for the first time since November 2014, when current Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers was in charge, and they face a real fight to finish in the top four.
Klopp was unhappy with the VAR’s decision to award the home team draw, with James Maddison’s direct free kick initially ruled out for offside, as he acknowledged that any title challenge is over.
“I don’t think we can close that gap this year, to be honest,” Klopp, who reached the personal milestone of 300 games in charge of Liverpool, told the media.
“We have to win soccer games and much of our soccer today has gone back to being very, very good. We have to do it consistently. We have to avoid mistakes; we have to avoid misunderstandings.
“We cannot avoid VAR errors or things like that, but everything else that is in our hands we have to avoid. Today, in two situations, we didn’t do that and that’s why they were able to score two goals. The rest of the football game is really good.
“Yes, if you win soccer games you might be able to score more goals today, but those are the steps you have to take. First, you have to act again; the result is always highly related to performance.
“We were good enough to win for a long, long period in the game, but not until the end because of a couple of things.”
– OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 13, 2021
When asked to confirm that he was granting the title, he replied: “Yes, I can’t believe [the question], but yes. “
Liverpool have already conceded 32 goals in 24 league games during a turbulent campaign, just one less than the entire 2019-20 championship-winning season.
Next up is a trip to Budapest for the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 tie against RB Leipzig, followed by the little affair of a Merseyside derby against Everton at Anfield.
“Right now it’s difficult, it’s difficult, and I know the only way out of the situation is to play good football, to fight, to work hard on these kinds of things,” said the former Borussia Dortmund manager.
“We can still do that, and we will continue to do that, we have to do that. Then we will get the results and see where we end up.
“The situation is not easy, that is clear, but it is our situation and as it is always yours, you have to solve it yourself and that’s what we will do.