Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool’s 1-0 loss to Chelsea is a “blow” to his side’s hopes of finishing in the Premier League top four.
Mason Mount’s strike in the first half proved to be the difference as Chelsea inflicted a fifth straight home loss to Liverpool for the first time in club history.
The victory takes Thomas Tuchel’s side to fourth and Klopp’s, who are now four points behind, with Everton and West Ham ahead of them, now they face a huge battle to qualify for the Champions League next season.
“It’s a big blow,” Klopp said Sky Sports.
“It’s not done yet, but we don’t have to talk about it if you lose that many matches, you don’t have the right to go to the Champions League.
“We have to win football games and we know that and we will work on it, but for tonight it was not enough.”
Klopp: I take the blame for the defeat
Klopp was blamed for the lackluster loss, in which a shot on target from his team was only recorded in the 85th minute.
Liverpool have now spent more than 10 hours goalless at Anfield and they have taken just one point of the last 21 offered at home since Christmas, scoring just two goals, one of which was a penalty kick.
Having been almost four years unbeaten in the home league, Klopp has now lost more games at Anfield in the past four weeks than in his previous five years.
“Intense play, close match, a decisive moment decided the match with the quality of Mason”, he added.
“Our situations that we didn’t use. That’s pretty much the explanation for the result.
“I try to be as honest as possible, I told the boys what I saw tonight. It’s not that we’re looking for excuses right now.
“These matches are decided in a few moments and to recover these moments, you have to fight and sometimes at a different level. It is not a question of tactics. It’s about being resilient and heartfelt.
“We won’t blame the circumstances. There’s only one person to criticize. It’s me and us. That’s what I told the boys.”
Klopp minimizes Salah’s reaction
Liverpool’s problems were compounded by the sight of Mohamed Salah shaking his head on the bench after being replaced by Klopp just past the hour mark.
It’s a move that surprised Sky Sports’ Jamie Carragher on the co-commentary, but Klopp played down the decision to bring out the Premier League’s top scorer when his side were so desperate for a goal.
“I’m surprised Mo Salah is coming, I really am. He doesn’t look too happy himself. Liverpool need a goal and he’s the Premier League’s top scorer.”
“When the boys look disappointed, that’s okay, he added.” I didn’t see what Mo did.
“The reason for the sub was that, and I could have changed other players as well, that’s right, but he looked at that moment that he was really feeling the intensity and I didn’t want him to. risk.
“That’s all. I’ve known him for a long time and it’s really rare because he usually looks fresh.”
Tuchel: We want more
Meanwhile, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has now been undefeated for 10 games since taking over from Frank Lampard, the team drifting to ninth place.
But he’s not happy just getting into the top four and insists that settling for Champions League qualification isn’t an option.
“We didn’t think of it that way,” he said. “We have already been in the top four after a win against Newcastle and we can’t lose our focus watching the games all the time, it doesn’t help.
“I know it’s boring for you, but we have to prepare every game at the highest level because this league doesn’t allow you to lose a percent.
“If we want to continue we have to refocus on Everton [on Monday] and nothing else and the rest will take care of itself.
“There are 11 games to go, still a long way to go, we are in the race. We closed the gap very quickly and it’s a big effort and now we are in the middle of the race and we have to keep going.
“But this league, the competition in the Champions League and the FA Cup, keeps us going and it’s not the time to relax and get too relaxed.
“I have a hungry group and I am hungry and we are not done.”