Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker has been blamed by his manager, Jurgen Klopp for his side 4-1 defeat at home to Manchester City on Sunday.
The Brazilian gifted possession away with careless passes for City’s second and third goals, scored by Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling, that condemned Liverpool to a third straight home league defeat for the first time since 1963.
Alisson has been a key part of Liverpool’s rise back to the top of the English and European game, winning the Champions League and Premier League in his first two seasons at Anfield.
“Ali has saved our life plenty of times and tonight he made two mistakes, that’s how it is,” said Klopp.
“You cannot hide them now. It’s true that we didn’t give him a lot of options, especially the first one. Maybe he had cold feet or something.”
The defeat leaves Liverpool 10 points behind leaders City, who also have a game in hand on Klopp’s men.
The Reds remain in fourth and Klopp admitted that just hanging onto a place in next season’s Champions League is now their target for the rest of the league season.
“That’s our main target. There is enough games to play to secure them but we have to win games,” added the German.
“If we play like we did for a long time tonight, we will win football games.”
And Klopp, whose side are now 10 points behind City in fourth place, has shed light on his exchange with the distraught goalkeeper after the final whistle.
“These two goals were obviously the killer of the game,” said the Reds boss. “Everybody knows that.
“I spoke to him. He is obviously very disappointed and was saying ‘not today, not today. I said to him that’s the problem with mistakes, you cannot decide when to make them.
“The only thing you can do is learn from it and that’s what he will do and it will never happen to him again, I’m pretty sure.
“Tonight it was massive, I would say. That’s okay, he has saved our lives I don’t know how often and is an absolute world-class goalie. Tonight some things went a little bit wrong and we have to take that.”
Klopp knows Alisson is likely to suffer a tough few days after his howlers but admits the goalkeeper may have benefited from extra assistance from his team-mates during the two incidents.