Liverpool: Jamie Carragher issues top-four warning as Premier League champions slump

Liverpool stay fourth, a point ahead of West Ham, after 4-1 defeat to Manchester City; Premier League champions have won just twice since Christmas; Liverpool's next two league games are against Leicester and Everton

Jamie Carragher has warned that Liverpool are in danger of finishing outside of the top four as the Premier League champions' season threatens to unravel.

Liverpool were beaten 4-1 by Man City on Super Sunday to all-but extinguish their hopes of retaining the title.

And Carragher fears Liverpool now face a fight just to qualify for the Champions League.

"This is threatening Liverpool's top-four hopes," said Carragher during Sky Sports' coverage of City's victory.

"They have to find something quickly. The top four places are massively up for grab.

"It would have been unthinkable to say that at the start of the season about this Liverpool team but there are so many teams jostling for those positions."

With Liverpool 27 points worse off than they were at the same stage last season - the biggest ever drop-off by a Premier League champion - fellow Sky Sports pundit Roy Keane was withering in his assessment of their title defence.

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"We spoke before the game that they are making a lot of excuses. To me, they have been bad champions."

What now for Liverpool?

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City's win at Liverpool.

Liverpool are currently fourth in the Premier League table, just a point above Chelsea and West Ham, with four other teams within five points of Jurgen Klopp's faltering side. Since topping the league over Christmas, the Reds have won just twice.

"I think this is the first time under Jurgen Klopp when real questions are starting to be asked," continued Carragher. "There will be even more after this game.

"This is the first time in five-and-a-half years when it is not really going to plan.

"The next couple of games are Leicester away and Everton at home, two teams who are really in there fighting for those positions as well. There is so much up for grabs.

"Liverpool have to put this right."

Liverpool are currently deprived of Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez, and Carragher believes remedial work to their starting line-up may be required in the summer.

"It's been the same players for the last four years," Carragher noted. "They probably could do with a couple of players to freshen up the starting line-up. This team has been together since the Champions League final in Kiev.

Neville: It's a natural dip

Sky Sports' Gary Neville on Liverpool:

"What l would say about Liverpool is that this is the fourth season, really. For three seasons they had Champions League final, then winning the Champions League, then winning the league. They have been at it full pelt. It's very difficult to keep that momentum going for four years.

"This is a natural dip. I don't think this is too much of a panic. They are just going through a bad moment which was always going to come at some point.

"They just look a bit tired, a bit sapped of their energy, a bit drained. It happens."

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