Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has given his verdict on the Reds’ Premier League title hopes after a 1-1 draw with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
Jurgen Klopp and his boys had a daunting trip at the Etihad, taking on the 2022-23 treble winners in an early kickoff. The two sides shared the spoils, with Erling Haaland and Trent Alexander-Arnold grabbing one goal apiece.
The Merseysiders are third in the standings with 28 points from 13 games, one point behind second-place Manchester City, and two points behind leaders Arsenal.
When asked if the Reds were genuine challengers to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City by Sky Sports, Carragher responded (via Rousing the Kop):
“I think they can challenge if the City we see now are the City we see for the rest of the season. My only fear is that I don’t think that will be the case, they’re just kicking into gear A.
“I think you have to expect that, it’s the norm. That would be my worry for Liverpool and Arsenal but if they [City] don’t get out of performing how they are right now, of course Liverpool can challenge.”
The Reds have every shot of challenging City for the title this season, along with Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. They have challenged Pep Guardiola and Co. the most in recent seasons, winning the 2019-20 title and falling short by just one point in the 2018-19 and 2021-22 campaigns.
Carragher also reckons Alisson Becker had a game to forget after the Reds were held to a 1-1 draw against Manchester City on Saturday.
The Brazilian shot-stopper had a rare off-game and looked short on composure, particularly with his distribution, throughout the game.
His accidental pass to Phil Foden in the 11th minute nearly led to City scoring, while his miscued clearance in the 27th minute fell into the path of Nathan Ake which led to Haaland breaking the deadlock.
Carragher said (via METRO):
“Alisson didn’t have his best game. He was really poor on the ball. He could have cost Liverpool towards the end of the game a couple times with his clearances.”
He also believes Alisson’s blushes were spared after the referee ruled out Ruben Dias’ goal in the second half due to Manuel Akanji’s foul on the Brazilian:
“For me, Alisson and Liverpool are extremely lucky. Very lucky. If the referee doesn’t give that, VAR isn’t saying that’s a foul – there’s no way in the world. A goalkeeper of his quality, I mean it’s hardly anything from Manuel Akanji.”
“From a Liverpool point of view, I’m looking at that thinking, ‘I want my goalkeeper to deal with that’ – if the referee didn’t blow his whistle, it would have ended up being a goal. You want your goalkeeper to deal with that.”
To make matters worse, Alisson was seen feeling his hamstring towards the end of the game, potentially giving Jurgen Klopp a new injury concern.