Jamie Carragher was left gobsmacked by Liverpool’s poor performance in their 1-1 draw away to West Ham United on Monday night, pointing to their defensive lapses on set-pieces as a big problem.
Liverpool’s lead at the top of the Premier League was cut short to three points following the latest round of games, with Manchester City handily defeating Arsenal on Sunday while the Reds could only come away with a draw against West Ham United on Monday night.
The Merseyside outfit took the lead after 22 minutes, but could only hold onto it for six minutes before conceding from a Michail Antonio strike, from which point onwards they never really looked like getting a winner.
Former Liverpool centre-back Jamie Carragher was left gobsmacked by the team’s performance, pointing to a lack of quality on the bench as an issue that could derail their title challenge, but emphasised there was no need for fans to panic just yet.
“There was a lot of frustration out there tonight,” Carragher told Sky Sports MNF.
“There was a lot of poor performances. I can’t believe how bad Liverpool were, but they are still top of the league and they are still right in the title race.’’
“I don’t feel Liverpool have the quality off the bench that Manchester City do and there is not a massive difference in quality with the Liverpool squad and Tottenham either. It shows how important Liverpool’s front three are and they have to stay fit.”
“If Liverpool go one or two points behind City or Tottenham, it might not be the end of the world,” stated Carragher. “They are trying to hold on this lead and maybe they don’t like it. Liverpool have not had a blip this season and it may just be a case of that, but they have not stopped the talk that they are not enjoying the pressure.”
Liverpool were cut open several times by West Ham from set pieces, and were lucky not to have conceded another goal on top of Michail Antonio’s 28th minute equaliser.
“Liverpool are not alive, they are not streetwise enough defending set-plays. Also, teams can see that they can slide it down the side of the defence as well now so there are a few issue there now. They should have lost the game against Leicester and they could have lost at West Ham as well.”
Carragher went on to say that Klopp, a two-time Bundesliga-winning manager with Borussia Dortmund, now has to guide his team through this difficult period of the season, their first real dip in form in the league thus far.
“I would not say Klopp has to earn his money now, but he is the big figure in that dressing room. That is not a dressing room full of winners. James Milner won a title at Man City, but Klopp has done it before in Germany and he is working with a set of players looking to win their first title.
“This is not a time to panic. Liverpool are still right in the title race. They are a fantastic side and they will come back. They will win five or six matches in a row, but they have to respond now and prove this is just a blip.”
Liverpool face Bournemouth in the league at Anfield this Saturday before hosting Bayern Munich in the first round of the Champions League knockout stages next week.