Jurgen Klopp admitted Liverpool are putting Champions League soccer next season at risk with a disastrous start to the season after Leeds United stunned Anfield with a 2-1 on Saturday.
Crysencio Summerville's 89th-minute goal inflicted the Reds their first home league defeat in front of a crowd since April 2017.
Liverpool has now lost twice as many games in the first 12 league games of this season as they did in 38 last season.
Klopp's men are 13 points behind of Manchester City at the top of the table and eight adrift of the top four.
"We cannot qualify for the Champions League if you play as inconsistent as we do in the moment," said Klopp. "We have to fix that and then anything is possible."
For the second time in a week, Liverpool were beaten by a side that started the day in the relegation zone.
Klopp again pointed the finger for his team's struggles this season on a series of injuries and a brutal schedule to make way for a mid-season World Cup.
"The situation is like it is. There is no excuse but we had problems from the first day with injuries or half-fit players. Some play too often, others play too early (after injury). It's not now for an overhaul, but you have to fight through and fight for momentum and confidence."
Leeds began the night second from the bottom but climbed out of the relegation zone thanks to its first win in nine games. That winless run had left Jesse Marsch fighting to save his job.
"Everybody has made a big deal about firing me, but the board and I have been unified and we’ve stuck together," said the American manager. "My feeling is that we shouldn’t be in the situation we’re in, but we are. I’ve tried to stay calm, but I’ve also tried to push. The players have stepped up big today."
Leeds could not have wished for a more generous gift from the hosts than for the opener after just four minutes.
Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker stumbled as he tried to reach Joe Gomez's back-pass, allowing Rodrigo an easy finish into the unguarded net for the Spaniard's sixth goal of the season.
The lead did not last long as Mohamed Salah leveled with his seventh goal in five games against Leeds by steering home Andy Robertson's cross on 14 minutes.
An unusually late Saturday night kickoff for the Premier League caused by Liverpool's Champions League commitments on Tuesday contributed to a crackling atmosphere.
Spurred on by both sets of supporters, the two teams continued to tear from one end of the field to the other in a wide open match.
Leeds were inches away from retaking the lead when Brenden Aaronson hit the crossbar before Alisson made amends for his earlier slip by saving from Jack Harrison.
Darwin Nunez had scored in his previous four starts to start repaying his 75 million euro ($75 million) transfer fee. But the Uruguayan had a night to forget in front of goal as he twice failed to beat Illan Meslier when one-on-one with the French goalkeeper.
Meslier also saved from Salah and Roberto Firmino in the closing stages as Leeds looked to be hanging on just for a point.
But Summerville produced a moment of genius to give them all three and set up a memorable 21st birthday for the Dutch winger tomorrow.
"My birthday is going to be special!" Summerville said. "Scoring the winner at Anfield is a dream for every player."
© Agence France-Presse
If JM can hold out until the WC break he might not get sacked in 2022. But I don't see him lasting the rest of the season. Miraculous keeping can't last that long. Leeds needs better defenders in their back line. And Bamford is a shadow of his previous form--they need a productive 9.
Liverpool is having a tough time this year, and having their problems. The loss to Leeds was due to Leeds playing great, they were terrible and so was Liverpool. Liverpool should have won hands down, they created so many chance but as luck would have, this things happen whereby the lesser team somehow wins.
I don't think Jesse will last the whole season for his type of soccer doesn't inspire althought this win just delays the eventuality...Maybe, the NWSL has a coaching opening for Jesse :)
FWIW, American Marsch was supported well by his two Americans, Tyler Adams and Brendan Aaronson, both of whom played the full 90 with great energy and stamina. Adams took the pressure off the Leeds defenders with stops on Liverpool's agin galacticos. Aaronson has terrific pace and his passing was extremely accurate, balls often finding their way between defenders to the feet of his targets. After Harrison's misses on free kicks, Aaronson needs to take them all. Period. Corners included. Aaronson still needs a bit better focus in dead ball situations, but he has the basics down pretty well, and he has the confidence to execute.
Frank, i think you are in fantasyland about a lot of your opinions regarding most soccer. i don't know what you want or expect as somehow you expect all soccer to inspire and be beautiful. I don't know what team you have in mind that does this all the time like you constantly write about. Maybe, to you, the soccer doesn't inspire, but you know what does...WINNING! By hook or by crook, all that will be remembered down the road is winning at Anfield to beat Liverpool at their home in front of a crowd by an EPL team since 2017. That is all that matters. Face it, a team that comes out as woefully understaffed as Leeds wins at Anfield...it is AWESOME! That is all that matters and all that will be remembered...not that it didn't fit Frank Schoon's eye test. Just give credit where credit it due...you don't have the pedigree or have ever had the knowledge or ability to compete at that level, so you just bitch and complain that it is not inspiring or beautiful to you. Your soccer viewing world must be pretty lousy with all of the complaining you manage to do.
Grant, I watch soccer as I look at paintings, the techniques, the hows and why, and I don't care who wins or for that matter who won at Anfield 5years ago and burn a candle every year todate to celebrate the win by Leeds. I let the peabrains do that. I like to study the game itself and look at the sophistication angles of it ,especially when you've have seen great, 'beautiful soccer.
Reading your comments, I sense you were not much of soccer player and if you did play , you were perhaps a defender type, a non-creative type, and was not known for you technical ability.
It is very difficult for me to watch and accept 'lousy' soccer which is packaged as a 'fight' game. Now there is nothing wrong with showing fight for you do need that as well, which makes up part of the beautiful game itself. The lesser type of players you have the more fight one sees. For example, the manner of passing the ball, how it is passed, the timing , the velocity, the manner of positioning and stance of the receiver, all of them or partial of the can contribute to a 50/50 duels for the ball, wasting energy, delaying or stopping a build up or attack, all of which could have been eliminated by playing a better brand of soccer,...etc. The manner of how one dribbles or thinks when to dribble or how to create an open space due to the dribble ,all of these can effect the game somehow....And that's what I look at in how a team can play efficient and look good. Apparently this stuff goes over your head, and you appreciate the more mundane aspects which don't require much thinking....
I'll leave it that Grant and let you enjoy the pigs in the mud soccer....