Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp blamed two uncharacteristic errors from goalkeeper Alisson Becker on frigid conditions after his side were thrashed 4-1 at home by Manchester City on Sunday.
The Brazilian gifted possession away with careless passes for City’s second and third goals, scored by Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling, that condemned Liverpool to a third straight home league defeat for the first time since 1963.
Alisson has been a key part of Liverpool’s rise back to the top of the English and European game, winning the Champions League and Premier League in his first two seasons at Anfield.
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“Ali has saved our life plenty of times and tonight he made two mistakes, that’s how it is,” said Klopp.
“You cannot hide them now. It’s true that we didn’t give him a lot of options, especially the first one. Maybe he had cold feet or something.”
Former Manchester United player Roy Keane had a blunt reply to the “cold feet” excuse.
“What we don’t want to hear from Liverpool either is excuses, there’s been plenty of excuses coming out of Liverpool over the last few weeks,” said Keane on Sky Sports.
“City have had an extra break, fixture pileup, there’s been plenty of excuses from [Klopp]. We’ve said from day one, injury problems of course, have affected them, but we could say that about Manchester City.
“I think Jurgen Klopp said there ‘maybe the goalkeeper’s feet were cold’. That’s a new one! It’s excuses after excuses.
“Just get on with it! Perform like champions, you’re Liverpool Football Club.”
Defeat leaves Liverpool 10 points behind leaders City, who also have a game in hand on Klopp’s men.
The Reds remain in fourth and Klopp admitted that just hanging onto a place in next season’s Champions League is now their target for the rest of the league season.
“That’s our main target. There is enough games to play to secure them but we have to win games,” added the German.
“If we play like we did for a long time tonight, we will win football games.”
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Alisson certainly has been impressive in many past games for Liverpool but it did not stop former Liverpool player Steve McManaman from a brutal takedown of the star keeper.
“Well the goalkeeper’s had possibly the worst game that anybody’s seen, certainly in the Premier League and for Liverpool,” McManaman said on Sky Sports.
“[Liverpool] get back into the game, it’s 1-1, and then [he] inexplicably just throws — not throws the game away, that’s just the wrong words — but puts the game out of Liverpool’s reach just with really amateurish mistakes. It was very unlike him.”