Jurgen Klopp downbeat on Liverpool title hopes and reveals top-four worry | Football

The German lost at Goodison Park for the very first time (Picture: Getty)

Jurgen Klopp is not optimistic about Liverpool’s chances of winning the Premier League title after a chastening 2-0 defeat away to Everton in the Merseyside derby on Wednesday night.

The Reds struggled to handle the physicality and directness of Everton for large spells at Goodison Park and thought they had conceded an early penalty when Alisson brought down Dominic Calvert-Lewin, though the decision was reversed by VAR due to an offside offence.

But the Toffees did get a breakthrough in the 27th minute, with Jarrad Branthwaite capitalising on some penalty-box pinball to fire a shot under Alisson, with the ball squirming over the line.

Liverpool’s pressure ramped up before and after half-time, but they fell two goals behind just before the hour-mark when Calvert-Lewin rose unmarked at the back post from a corner to head into the back of the net.

Klopp’s side threatened a comeback, with Luis Diaz smashing the woodwork, but the result means Liverpool are now three points adrift of Arsenal with a vastly inferior goal difference and just four games left to play.

They are also only one point ahead of Manchester City, who have two games in hand, and Klopp has conceded that his hopes of securing another Premier League title before he departs at the end of the season are not looking good – particularly if his side do not improve dramatically.

Asked if the defeat has damaged his side’s title chances, Klopp said at his post-match press conference: ‘I understand it, it’s part of the business, but I don’t know why I have to answer this question.

Everton beat Liverpool in Merseyside derby

Everton fully deserved their victory over Liverpool (Picture: Getty)

‘Honestly you can read the table, so should I say now that we are still fully in or what? Now we need a crisis at City and Arsenal.

‘And we need to win football games. Because if they start losing all the games and we do what we did tonight, nothing changes.

‘And we are not safe in the Champions League [places] either, so we should just play better football. That would be really good.’

Liverpool are currently 14 points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham, who have two games in hand, and it would take an astonishing series of results for the north Londoners to overtake them.

Klopp was also asked in his TV interview if Liverpool can still challenge for the title, telling Sky Sports: ‘That must happen a lot. They must come in a very bad moment, Arsenal and Man City, and actually yesterday it didn’t look like that.

‘I don’t know [if we’re still in the race]. I can only apologise to the people. Everybody who is with us knows how hard this is for us as well, but I know for other people it’s especially hard. So we should have done better but we didn’t and that’s why we lost.’

Speaking to Match of the Day, he added: ‘Arsenal didn’t look very weak last night. We have to play better, that is it. We need points. We are not safe in the Champions League. Tottenham have played a lot of games less than us.’

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