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Jurgen Klopp cites impact of Man Utd games as Liverpool lose title race momentum

SoccerNews in English Premier League 14 Apr 2024

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Jurgen Klopp cited the impact of damaging results against rivals Manchester United following Liverpool’s recent loss of momentum in the title race.

The Reds conceded more ground at the top of the Premier League as they suffered a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace on Sunday.

It capped a highly frustrating week for the Merseysiders after a draw at United last weekend and a humbling Europa League loss to Atalanta on Thursday.

Klopp, however, pinpointed another result at Old Trafford – the dramatic FA Cup loss that ended Liverpool’s quadruple bid last month – as where they started to run out of steam.

The German said: “I think the problem is, a little bit, that I’m not 100 per cent sure that, in general, how we dealt with the United games helped.

“We lost the game in the cup and it was like a catastrophe because we were that good and lost it anyway.

“Then we drew there but were really good for a long spell. We have conceded a little bit.

“That’s now not the reason for today, the problems we had in the United games were completely different to the things we had today, but obviously we expected a reaction.

“We lost in that (United) game more than only the game. It didn’t help.”

Klopp felt his side were not at their best against Palace, who capitalised on a strong start to take a 14th-minute lead through Eberechi Eze.

Yet the hosts still created a number of chances, particularly in the second half, only to be thwarted by a combination of poor finishing or stubborn Palace defending.

Klopp said: “The goal we conceded – he (Eze) ends up completely free in the box, that cannot happen. We had other moments where we were just not together.

“The second half is a really good home game. I’m not sure they had chances but we had a lot – big ones where everybody would think that should be a goal, and other moments where we were nearly there.

“We had momentum, we could put them under pressure, but in the end it was not enough. We have to admit that.

“What it means for the title race – I am not dumb. The answer is pretty easy. If we play like in the first half, why should we win the league? If we play like in the second half, we can win football games.”

Palace’s victory was only their second in seven matches under new manager Oliver Glasner but it eased their fears of being sucked into a relegation battle.

Glasner said: “It is a fantastic win and congratulations to the team for the performance and first half, for the performance in playing football and the confidence we had and the chances we created.

“And congratulations for the passion and spirit we had in the second. We had a fantastic goalkeeper today in Dean (Henderson) and an outstanding passion today to defend as a team.

“That is the reason we kept the clean sheet and won this game.”

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