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Title favorites? On this form, Liverpool will do well to make the top four  | Sporting News Canada

Jurgen Klopp has described Liverpool’s defeat to Burnley as a “massive punch in the face” while admitting that they “can’t imagine the title race at the moment”. The defending Premier League champions surrendered their 68-game unbeaten home record against Burnley on Thursday.

The Clarets ran out 1-0 winners at Anfield thanks to an Ashley Barnes penalty in the 83rd minute, with the final result ensuring that Liverpool has now gone four successive league games without scoring for the first time since May 2000.

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Jurgen Klopp’s men are also now playing catch-up in the title race having failed to close the six-point gap between themselves and pace-setters Manchester United, who they are due to come up against for the second time in the space of seven days in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday.

The Reds looked on course to retain the Premier League trophy after a 7-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace on December 19, but subsequent draws with West Brom, Newcastle, and United along with a loss at Southampton allowed the chasing pack to overtake them.

Klopp concedes he is no longer even thinking about winning the title again after their latest setback, as he told BBC Sport: “Everything, all the English words, massive, massive punch in the face or whatever, it’s my responsibility, that’s the easy explanation. We had the ball a lot, created some, and didn’t finish the situations off. That keeps the game open and then they get the penalty – Alisson told me he didn’t touch him, but I didn’t see it back.

“It’s wrong decisions at the moment, three crosses in the box, we tried to find a player, didn’t, it’s my job to make sure the boys are in the right position, that they feel right. “It’s a tough one, not easy to explain, These boys are not the kind of person after a 7-0 to think we’ll go like this, they worked tonight hard and it didn’t happen, if something doesn’t work you have to try harder, more often, longer. It was not easy to lose that game and we did it.

“It’s not about blaming, we have to sort it together and we will. In football, you don’t have a lot of time. We tried a lot, in some moments the right things and some not. That’s the problem. You have to break the wall down by trying, in the right mood. We had chances. “We can’t imagine the title race at the moment.” The Liverpool head coach was involved in a heated exchange with Dyche as they went down the tunnel at half-time following an on-field incident that saw Fabinho pick up a yellow card.

Klopp appeared to be berating the Burnley boss as he made his way to the dressing room but played down the clash in his post-match press conference. He told reporters: “If he’s not talking about it, I’m not talking about it. I didn’t start it. It’s nothing, all good.” 

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