Liverpool fell to a dismal defeat at Premier League strugglers Bournemouth on Saturday, with club icon Steven McManaman warning they face a serious battle to finish in the top four.
A furious Steve McManaman has warned former club Liverpool they are “miles” from being able to finish in the top four after Saturday’s dire defeat at Bournemouth.
The Reds went into the game on the back of a stunning 7-0 hammering of fierce rivals Manchester United. But rather than secure another comfortable win against the struggling Cherries, Jurgen Klopp’s men fell to a dismal defeat.
Phillip Billing’s first-half goal earned the hosts all three points in a major boost to their survival hopes. The low-point for Liverpool was Mohamed Salah’s dreadful penalty miss, with McManaman taking aim at their poor performance.
“I thought they were terrible today. Contrasting fortunes for both teams – everything Liverpool did well last week when they won at Anfield was completely the opposite today,” he told BT Sport.
“They were lethargic, they were slow, they moved the ball sideways so many times, there was no urgency to go forwards. Defensively, five clean sheets, they looked as if they couldn’t play again today.
“Stepping forwards when they don’t need to, always taking chances trying to play offside, and they’ve arguably got the quickest back four around. They just never looked as if they were going to win.
“I mentioned at half-time it was like the Nottingham Forest game, and it was – Forest were bottom of the league, showed more fight, Liverpool made chances, petered out, never looked as if they were going to win the game and it was exactly the same today.
“Made all kinds of substitutions, it didn’t matter. Diogo Jota made the goalie make one save, that was it. Liverpool had five super centre forwards on today and they didn’t do anything.”
The defeat leaves them six points adrift of Tottenham, who currently occupy the final Champions League qualification place. And McManaman believes the Reds are currently “miles” from being able to claim a spot in the elite competition.
“It’s an incredibly disappointing result. It’s just frustrating, isn’t it? You come five hours down the M6 to witness that, then we all have to go back up north again after getting excited about getting into the Champions League spots,” he added.
They’re miles away from it judging from that performance, and it’s not the first time, this is two, three, four times this season, and that’s the worrying part of it. You can only ask the players.
“I don’t know whether it’s a timing issue, I honestly don’t know because the Nottingham Forest game was a half 12 kick-off and they struggled, they didn’t look as if they were fighting enough for it.
“The first 10 minutes they were okay, made a couple of chances, but the next 85 including injury time, they could have been playing now and they still wouldn’t have scored a goal. I don’t know why you can get yourself up for a big game then come down here for a game like this and just be as flat as they were today.”