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Jurgen Klopp press conference, concedes title hopes are over, Leicester vs Liverpool

Klopp’s men have now lost three consecutive games and could find themselves down in sixth by the time Chelsea and West Ham play winnable home games on Monday night.

The Reds looked to have responded to a 4-1 thrashing handed out by City in their last outing with an impressive performance until a collapse in the final 12 minutes.

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Two blunders from Alisson Becker gifted City goals last weekend and the Brazilian was at fault again, while new signing Ozan Kabak had a difficult debut at centre-back.

Unlike the relentless winning machine that picked up 196 points in the past two seasons, Liverpool’s confidence is now brittle. The team is now clinging onto a place in the top four as they lead Chelsea and West Ham by just a point, who both have a game in hand.

Asked post-game if he was conceding his side couldn’t win the Premier League title this season, a broken and emotional Klopp said: “Yes. I can’t believe it, but yes.”

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Klopp said it was now too tough for his side to make up the points to claim a second straight title.

“I don’t think we can close the gap this year, to be honest. We have to win football games,” he said.

“A big part of our football today was very good, but we have to avoid mistakes and misunderstandings.

“What we need to do is avoid mistakes and misunderstandings … Today, two situations we didn’t do that so that’s how they could score two goals.”

“Results are always massively related to the performance – and we were good enough today to win for the game apart from a couple of mistakes towards the end.”

“Before the game, we all knew that Ozan is a really good player and we know that afterwards as well but he’s not used to all the things we do. Ali is offensive and likes to come out of his goal.

Alisson with Ozan Kabak of Liverpool. Picture: Michael ReganSource: Getty Images

“When you are new together this usually happens but it happens in pre-season. Unfortunately, we’ve not had that. We’re not worrying about the title, we’re not silly.

“We have a tough game on Tuesday and then the derby next week. That’s what we’re thinking about.”

Liverpool’s superiority for the first three quarters of the game was rewarded by a brilliant team goal as Roberto Firmino’s flick was curled home by Mohamed Salah 23 minutes from time.

But the tea, self-imploded after Leicester’s fortunate equaliser from James Maddison’s free-kick.

The visitors felt Daniel Amartey should have been ruled off-side for obstructing Alisson’s view, but a VAR review deemed the Ghanaian to be onside.

Alisson should have done better in any case to deal with Maddison’s shot and less than two minutes later he handed Leicester a second.

Jurgen Klopp after the game. Picture: Michael ReganSource: Getty Images

A long ball over the top should have been comfortably dealt with, but the onrushing goalkeeper got in Kabak’s way and the defender’s rushed clearance allowed Jamie Vardy to run the ball into an empty net.

“The first goal for me is off-side. The difference is we think it’s an objective thing but it’s not. That’s something that has to change (with VAR),” Klopp said.

“The second goal is a misunderstanding obviously. It is a situation where we should shout and I didn’t hear anyone shout. It is not that cool.”

Harvey Barnes put the seal on Leicester’s superb comeback, leaving fourth-placed Liverpool languishing 10 points behind leaders City, who have two games in hand including one against Tottenham later on Saturday.

“The third goal I really don’t like. We are so open. I cannot accept,” Klopp said.

“The two goals we conceded obviously had a massive impact and for human beings that’s normal, but for us we don’t accept that. We have to react differently.”

— with AFP

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