Liverpool slipped to a first league defeat at Anfield since April 2017 as they went down 1-0 to Burnley, leaving Jamie Carragher struggling to explain the Reds’ dip in form.
Ashley Barnes’ late penalty settled a contest which Liverpool dominated on Thursday, ending a 68-game unbeaten run at home in the league for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Liverpool had 71.9 per cent possession and 27 attempts – with six on target – yet could find no way through to goal for the fourth Premier League match in succession.
The Reds have had a total of 87 shots since Sadio Mane’s opener in a 1-1 draw with West Brom on December 27, and their tally of efforts on Thursday is the most they have had in a single league match without finding the net since April 2013 and most at Anfield since April 2012.
Their last league win was a 7-0 thumping of Crystal Palace prior to Christmas, and Liverpool are now six points adrift of league leaders Manchester United, while they have also played a game more than second-placed Manchester City.
It is a situation which has left former Anfield stalwart Carragher puzzled.
“We were talking about a blip for Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp has come out and defended his players as you would expect because these players have done so much for Liverpool,” the Sky Sports pundit said.
“I think they have got to get back to scoring goals and winning games before they start thinking about someone taking the title off them. They have just been so poor. You cannot quite believe what has happened to Liverpool in the last few weeks.”
4 – This is the first time a Jürgen Klopp side has gone four league games without scoring since his Mainz side did so in the Bundesliga, between November and December 2006. Throwback. pic.twitter.com/0rvM29BG9D
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 21, 2021
However, Carragher also fears that Liverpool could become embroiled in a battle for Champions League qualification, never mind their chances of retaining their crown.
“At this moment it looks like the title is slipping away,” Carragher added.
“Six points can still be recovered but the form Liverpool are in and the fixtures they have in the coming months, I think Liverpool fans will be worrying a little more about their top-four position than the title.
“You go from that 7-0 win at Palace to so many players out of form at the same time. It is his job to fix it – whether that is formations, personnel, however they go about it – but there are so many teams challenging for that top four it will be a worry for Liverpool until they get out of this little run that they are on.”
Liverpool sit fourth on 34 points, having played a game more than fifth-placed Tottenham and two more than sixth-placed Everton, while West Ham are also only two points behind.
Chelsea and Southampton are also within touching distance, while Arsenal have propelled themselves up the table and Aston Villa have three games in hand.
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