Lackadaisical Liverpool

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge spurning a goal-scoring chance against Hull, who upset the odds to beat Liverpool 2-0 at home. The Reds remain winless in the Premier League so far this calendar year, 13 points behind runaway leaders Chelsea.
Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge spurning a goal-scoring chance against Hull, who upset the odds to beat Liverpool 2-0 at home. The Reds remain winless in the Premier League so far this calendar year, 13 points behind runaway leaders Chelsea.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Klopp slams 'not acceptable' display at Hull as Reds slip out of title contention

LONDON • Jurgen Klopp has implored his Liverpool side to "wake up" after watching the Reds' winless run in the Premier League this year extend at Hull City.

Goals from debutant Alfred N'Diaye and Oumar Niasse - on loan from Everton - ensured Hull joined Burnley, Bournemouth and Swansea on the list of teams that have shocked Liverpool in the league this season.

"Obviously that was not good enough. We gave both goals away easily and the overall performance was not like it should be," Klopp said after his side failed to win any of their five league games this year - the first time that has happened since 1954.

"It makes no sense for us to play like this. We need to wake up, that was not acceptable."

With 13 points separating Liverpool and league leaders Chelsea, Klopp said there has got to be an immediate change to reach the "big, big target" of the Champions League. Liverpool have played in Europe's elite club competition just once in the past six seasons.

"The title is not my biggest problem," said the Liverpool manager. "I want to play much better football with my team. But it's not about talking about where we want to be. We have to show it.

"We have shown it a few times this season but it is a long time since we showed it consistently. That's what we have to change immediately. The Champions League is an outstanding, big, big target.

"So many teams want to play there but to qualify for the Champions League from England is difficult. But on performances like today, we don't have to talk about this."

Liverpool were in fourth on 46 points - level with Manchester City - before Pep Guardiola's men kicked off against Swansea yesterday.

Second-placed Tottenham Hotspur are on 50 points while third-placed Arsenal have 47 points.

"We have to take all the criticism from everywhere," added Klopp when asked if he thought there was a flaw in his team's attitude.

"We expect more from ourselves and we have to show more than we did today and it's my responsibility to make it possible for the players to show more than we showed today.

"We didn't show the right mood. I don't know if it was attitude, but all football performances are a mixture of everything - confidence, attitude, passion, a lot of things."

Victory for the hosts continued the remarkable improvement shown by Hull under new manager Marco Silva, who has now won all four of his home league and Cup games.

But the Tigers remain mired in a relegation battle - one point from safety.

"We need to keep sight of our goal because we have only won three points and nothing more," Silva said.

"But this shows the players that this is the right way and they can believe."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 06, 2017, with the headline 'Lackadaisical Liverpool'. Print Edition | Subscribe