Liverpool have not won for five games in the league and trail leaders Manchester United by six points, in fourth place
Champions Liverpool suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to lowly Burnley on Thursday, ending their 68 match unbeaten home record in the Premier League as their title defence continued to fade.
An 83rd minute penalty from Ashley Barnes, after he was brought down by goalkeeper Alisson Becker, decided the contest after Juergen Klopp's side failed to score for the fourth straight league match.
Matt Lowton nodded a header into the box and Barnes wriggled free of Fabinho and went down under challenge from Becker, rising to confidently convert from the spot.
Liverpool have not won for five games in the league and trail leaders Manchester United by six points, in fourth place.
"We can't imagine the title race at the moment," said Klopp, who last saw his team lose at home in the Premier League in April 2017 when they lost to Crystal Palace.
"When I look back I think how is it possible we lost this game but we did. We have to work hard to do the right things. It is not an easy situation. I have to make clearer what we have to do in the right moments and then we will score goals again."
It was Burnley's first victory at Anfield since a 1-0 victory in September 1974 and Sean Dyche's side were rewarded for a superb defensive display.
🏡 This was Liverpool’s first defeat in 68 #PL matches at Anfield (W55 D13) since April 2017, three years and 273 days ago— Premier League (@premierleague) January 21, 2021
It was the second-longest unbeaten home run in English top-flight history, after Chelsea’s 86 games ending in October 2008#LIVBUR pic.twitter.com/tguItroBpA
Divock Origi had struck the bar for Liverpool in the first half, with only Burnley keeper Nick Pope to beat and Roberto Firmino missed a good chance after the break.
But for all their pressure and 73% possession, Liverpool struggled to create real openings with Ben Mee and James Tarkowski outstanding in the centre of Burnley's defence.
When Liverpool did manage to find space for a shot, Burnley keeper Nick Pope was up to the test, getting down well to keep out efforts from Trent Alexander-Arnold and substitute Mohamed Salah.
But too often Liverpool drifted in poor crosses which were easily dealt with by Burnley's defence.
📊 Away managers to win in PL at Anfield since Jurgen Klopp was appointed Liverpool manager:— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) January 21, 2021
Alan Pardew (Crystal Palace, Nov 2015)
Louis Van Gaal (Man Utd, Jan 2016)
Paul Clement (Swansea, Jan 2017)
Sam Allardyce (Crystal Palace, Apr 2017)
Sean Dyche (Burnley, Jan 2021) pic.twitter.com/HueUs7PdYD
The Clarets, who made a poor start to the season, move up to 16th place on 19 points.
Burnley drew 1-1 at Anfield last season and Dyche was full of praise for his team.
"We were close last year, you get a feel of a performance and I said 'you are used to playing against these players, working without the ball, there's always a chance and you have to take it'.
"Barnsey sticks it in there, gets a toe, it's a penalty and he sticks it away very well," he said.
"It felt impossible to lose, but we did it...that's my fault."— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) January 21, 2021
Jurgen Klopp reacts to #LFC's shock defeat at home to Burnley as the champions continue to struggle in front of goal. ⚽❌
Watch match highlights here: https://t.co/Xx6Jl2I6X3 pic.twitter.com/IkKZY2GCyj