Jurgen Klopp sounded the death knell for Liverpool’s Premier League title race hopes after a 3-2 defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates.
The manager admitted ‘we are not in the title race’ (relayed on Twitter by ESPN’s senior football writer, James Olley) as a second league loss left the Merseysiders languishing in the middle of the table on 10 points after eight top-flight fixtures.
Klopp: "We are not in the title race."
— James Olley (@JamesOlley) October 9, 2022
It’s a statement that will surely invite some rather difficult memories of the Reds’ 2020/21 campaign when the manager likewise admitted that his side’s hopes of retaining the title were over after a defensive injury crisis left them barely a shadow of their former selves.
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This time, the root cause of our ongoing struggles isn’t quite as clear; though certainly a factor, we can’t point to an absence of key men in the middle of the park.
We showed glimpses of sheer quality throughout the thrilling encounter in North London, though we were simply too easy to expose when out of possession – a reality that will surely have Pep Guardiola’s men salivating at the prospect of facing us in a week’s time.
Make no mistake: overcoming the hurdles of 2022/23 is categorically Klopp and his coaching staff’s biggest test yet.
We still have every faith in the man that brought the good times back to Anfield but, for now, it looks set to be a long and rather uncomfortable season of football for fans who have become reaccustomed to success.