Liverpool were fully expected to move above fourth-placed Tottenham on goal difference when they arrived at basement side Bournemouth, but they produced a below-par performance as they fell to another shock loss.
Philip Billing’s 27th-minute goal proved to be the winner as Mohamed Salah summed up a day to forget for Liverpool with a dreadful missed penalty.
Asked if Liverpool were not up for the challenge at Vitality Stadium, McManaman responded: “It certainly looked like that. I thought they were terrible today. Everything Liverpool did well last week when they won at Anfield was completely the opposite today.
“They were lethargic, they were slow, they moved the ball sideways so many times. There was no urgency to go forward. Defensively, they looked like they couldn’t play again today, stepping forwards when they don’t need to step forward, always taking chances trying to play offside when they’ve got arguably the quickest back four around.
“They just never looked like they were going to win the game.
“Liverpool had five super centre forwards on today, but they didn’t do anything. Incredibly disappointing result. After getting excited about getting into the Champions League spots, they’re miles away from it, judging by that performance.
“And it’s not the first time, this is two, three, four times this season and that is the worrying part of it.”
Liverpool have now dropped points against all of the newly promoted sides this season.
“You can only ask the players,” responded McManaman when asked the reason why they have struggled against the division’s new boys.
“I don’t know whether it’s a timing issue, I honestly don’t know.
“I don’t know why you can get yourself up for a particularly big game and then come down here, for a game like this, and be as flat as they were today.”
“It’s easy to get up for a Manchester United game,” weighed in Crouch. “100 per cent complacency.
“You saw it in a lot of the play. I think some of the passes were sloppy, trying to play offside – doing the lazy things, sometimes not going with runners.
“We saw with it the first goal, people switching off and not tracking back with the same intensity that they had last week.
“Top teams don’t play like that. Top, top teams when they come to Bournemouth, you expect them to have 20 shots on goal. In all honesty, Bournemouth deserved it today.”
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