Liverpool facing fatal blow as Jurgen Klopp forced to adjust his priority

Liverpool ‘s defeat by Leicester was just their second of the season, but the nature of the Premier League title race means that any points dropped could prove ruinous.

The harsh reality of Manchester City ‘s dominance means nothing but victory is good enough to keep pace at the top, and Tuesday’s 1-0 loss at the King Power means the Reds already find themselves six points behind the leaders at the halfway stage.

That gap will grow to 12 points if City defeat Brentford on Wednesday and Arsenal on Saturday, so Liverpool’s trip to Chelsea on Sunday will either make or break their title chances.

But as Jurgen Klopp was keen to stress at full-time, he must focus on the present rather than where the trophy will end up in May.

“It’s a big gap [to City]. In this moment it is not my problem,” the Liverpool boss told Amazon Prime Video.

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“If we play our normal football, Liverpool football, we have the chance to win more football games. A defeat is a defeat. We have to learn and we will.

“The first thing is not to do it ever again like this. We lost our rhythm and weren’t calm enough to get it back. That’s our fault.”

Klopp acknowledged he has glaring issues which need fixing, and none are quite so alarming as Sadio Mane’s dismal form over the last month.

The Senegalese is without a goal or assist in nine outings and clearly lacked confidence against the Foxes.

Mohamed Salah will bear the brunt of the blame for the defeat thanks to his first-half penalty miss, but Mane passed-up an equally brilliant chance to put Liverpool ahead shortly after the interval.

The 29-year-old fired well over the crossbar from close range with only Kasper Schmeichel to beat, and minutes later Ademola Lookman scored at the other end to give Leicester the lead.

Mane could hardly have asked for better service from Diogo Jota and it was confusing to see him fire over when the bottom corner was open for a composed finish.

Sadio Mane rifled over the bar from a fantastic shooting position early in the second half
Sadio Mane rifled over the bar from a fantastic shooting position early in the second half

It was the type of chance he would have tucked away with ease earlier in the season, when he scored seven goals in 11 top-flight games.

But the fact of the matter is Mane’s confidence is shot, and Klopp’s headache will only grow as he departs for AFCON after this weekend’s battle at Stamford Bridge.

So, the German cannot discuss the title race and there can be no glances at the table to see how City are getting on; his immediate task is to restore some self-belief to his out-of-sorts left-winger.

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