Jurgen Klopp admits Liverpool need 'crisis' from Man City and Arsenal to win title

Reds fall to damaging 2-0 Premier League defeat to rivals Everton at Goodison Park

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Jurgen Klopp is refusing to give up on the Premier League title but conceded Liverpool need a "crisis" from Manchester City and Arsenal after Wednesday night's defeat to rivals Everton.

Everton secured their first win in a Merseyside derby at Goodison Park since 2010 to leave Liverpool's title aspirations in tatters. Defeat leaves Jurgen Klopp's men still three points adrift of leaders Arsenal and only one point in front of defending champions City, who have two games in hand.

"We need a crisis at City and Arsenal, and need to win football games, because if they start now losing all the games and we do what we did tonight, nothing changed," Klopp said. "And we are not safe in the Champions League as well so we should just play better football."

Goals from Jarrad Branthwaite and Dominic Calvert-Lewin in each half took Everton eight points clear of the relegation zone.

The Toffees now look certain to extend their 70-year stay in the English top flight despite being deducted eight points on two charges of breaching financial rules.

Klopp had never lost on his previous eight visits to Goodison but his final taste of the Merseyside derby was a bitter one. Hopes of a glorious goodbye for the German after a nearly nine-year tenure that has transformed the club's fortunes are fading fast.

After clinching the League Cup in February, Liverpool were in contention for a historic quadruple but in recent weeks have won just one of their last four league games and have also bowed out of the Europa League and FA Cup.

Klopp made six changes after resting several key players for Sunday's 3-1 win at Fulham but did not get the response he desired.

"There are different aspects, definitely," Klopp said when asked to explain his side's recent dip in form. "Players who played all the games are not that fresh, but that is for other teams the same. I don’t want to use that as an excuse, really – as long as the boys are fit, not injured, that helps."

Slow starts have been a recurring factor as Liverpool's quest for four trophies has unravelled. Everton thought they had a penalty in the opening minutes when Calvert-Lewin was tripped by Alisson Becker but VAR intervened to save the visitors as the striker was offside.

Alisson then clawed away a Calvert-Lewin header and Ben Godfrey nodded wide as Liverpool struggled to cope with Everton's threat from set-pieces.

More comical defending from the Reds led to the opener on 27 minutes. Ibrahima Konate's mishit fell perfectly for Branthwaite and the defender's effort went in off the post despite Alisson's best efforts.

Going behind woke Liverpool from their slumber and only a combination of wasteful finishing and Jordan Pickford preserved Everton's lead until half time.

Darwin Nunez blasted straight at the England No 1 when clean through before the Uruguayan teed up Luis Diaz to fire too close to Pickford.

Mohamed Salah's loss of form has come at the worst possible time for Liverpool's title challenge and the Egyptian sliced another good opening well over the bar.

Liverpool were camped in the Everton half after the break, yet the hosts pulled further clear just before the hour mark from another dead ball. Calvert-Lewin was afforded a free header at the back post to power home Dwight McNeil's corner.

Liverpool's night was summed up when Diaz's powerful effort came back off the post with Pickford finally beaten.

But it was Klopp who was crestfallen come the final whistle as he looks set to depart Anfield with just one Premier League title to his name.

Buoyed by their weekend win over Nottingham Forest to pull clear of the relegation zone, Everton are a side transformed from the one that went 13 Premier League games without a win between December and April.

"Delighted with the performance of our players and delighted for the Evertonians," said Everton manager Sean Dyche. "They're a good side, we know that. The commitment and energy from us had to be there."

Updated: April 25, 2024, 7:36 AM