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Paul Merson slams Jurgen Klopp team selection and Liverpool forward Divock Origi after Burnley defeat

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Paul Merson slammed Jurgen Klopp’s team selection after Liverpool lost to Burnley (Pictures: Sky Sports)

Paul Merson has slammed Jurgen Klopp’s team selection and Liverpool forward Divock Origi after the Premier League champions suffered a shock defeat to Burnley.

Liverpool’s hopes of defending their title were dealt a further blow at Anfield on Thursday night as Burnley clinched a surprising 1-0 win thanks to Ashley Barnes’ late penalty.



Klopp’s side are now six points adrift of league leaders Manchester United at the midway point of the campaign and Merson says the Liverpool manager ‘got it wrong’ with his team selection against Burnley.



Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino were both named on the bench for the Burnley clash, with Origi handed a rare start and wasting a glorious chance to put his team ahead in the first half.



‘It’s easy to say it now but Jurgen Klopp got his team selection horribly wrong. When you’re struggling like Liverpool are, you play your best team,’ former Arsenal and England star Merson told Sky Sports.

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‘Divock Origi isn’t going to win Liverpool leagues, no disrespect. If he was better than Mohamed Salah or Roberto Firmino, he’d be playing every week. If he scores that chance in the first half, then the game would have been over.

‘Klopp knows how hard this league is, he knows he has got to put his best team out. Burnley’s last four games had all finished 1-0, they don’t get into big open football matches, they aren’t gung-ho, things are tight.

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‘They are great defensively, have an unbelievable goalkeeper; you play your best forwards because you’re not going to get a lorry-load of chances.

‘Klopp got it wrong, you play your top players, score two goals and then you take them off.’

Despite Liverpool’s struggles, Merson says the team have a chance to prove their ‘greatness’ by climbing back up the table and retaining the title.

He added: ‘This run is taking a toll on Klopp and all of his players. They have been so great of the past few years, now the players are all making the wrong decisions, and that’s all about confidence.

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‘But it’s in difficult moments like these where players have to play their way out, this is when great players get themselves out of this situation.

‘You’ve only got to look at the figures Liverpool have put up over the last two seasons to know they are still in this title race.

‘A six-point gap for a side capable of winning 10 matches on the trot? Liverpool can click at any moment and can be right back up there.’

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Klopp’s Liverpool face Manchester United in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday.

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