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bad champions Roy Keane rips into Liverpool's flops and issues a stark warning after Man City hammering

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Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson reacts during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool.  Jon Super/PA Wire.

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson reacts during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Jon Super/PA Wire.

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson reacts during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Jon Super/PA Wire.

Roy Keane ripped into Liverpool's flops after Manchester City hammered them 4-1 at Anfield to put the final nails in their hopes of retaining the Premier League title.

With the match evenly-poised at 1-1 with 17 minutes remaining the Brazil international’s errant passing presented the leaders with two goals – including Raheem Sterling’s first at Anfield since leaving in 2015.

Alisson was back in the team after missing the midweek defeat to Brighton because of illness – and he will be sick when he watches back his part in City’s first victory on this ground since 2003 and only their second in 34 visits.

Mohamed Salah’s 63rd-minute penalty – ending a home goal drought nine minutes short of seven hours – had cancelled out the opener from Ilkay Gundogan, who redeemed himself after missing from the spot in the first half.

Alisson then scuffed a pass straight to Phil Foden, who drove forward and crossed for Gundogan to make it nine goals in his last 11 league matches.

Worse was to follow as the Brazilian then repeated the error even closer to goal with Bernardo Silva teeing up Sterling to nod home his 100th goal for Pep Guardiola, before Foden completed the scoring.

It inspired former Manchester United captain Keane to launch a stinging attack on Jurgen Klopp and his players, as he suggested they were covering up their flaws with excuses in recent months.

"We have heard a lot of excuses and to me they have been bad champions," said Keane. "I can't figure this group out. Maybe they have just believed their own hype from last season. They are playing for a big team in Liverpool.

"My mindset when you won a league title was always can they do it again. I never got the impression from this group that they were going to do it again.

"Now they are talking about the top four, that is where their targets are. We are talking about Liverpool. You're telling me they are a huge club and they have to deal with setbacks.

"Man City are without two of their best players and with Liverpool, all I hear is excuses after excuses from Klopp.

"You wanted a reaction to Liverpool's performance against Brighton the other night. They conceded three at Man United, they conceded seven at Aston Villa.

"We are saying it's a one off, but it they perform like that, it will be another 30 years before the win the title again. Trust me."

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Phil Foden hit a fine fourth to wrap up the win for the visitors at Anfield. (Jon Super/PA)

Phil Foden hit a fine fourth to wrap up the win for the visitors at Anfield. (Jon Super/PA)

Phil Foden hit a fine fourth to wrap up the win for the visitors at Anfield. (Jon Super/PA)

Keane also suggested Liverpool's back-up players have been exposed as second rate, in a season when Liverpool have lost star names such as Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez due to lengthy injury lay-offs.

"I’m seeing a lot of excuses coming out of Liverpool in the last few weeks. City have had an extra break, fixture pile-up, there’s been plenty of excuses from the manager," Keane told Sky Sports.

"We’ve said from day one that they’ve had injury problems, of course, that’s affected them but you can say that about Man City. Liverpool have done brilliantly in the last few years, they need a response today, football always gives you that opportunity.

"They need a big performance, forget about league titles, they need to turn up today. As I said, no more excuses. Liverpool, huge expectations and the bottom line is: they’ve not stepped up to the plate to the challenges that have come their way, particularly from the back-up players, they’ve not been good enough, they’ve not shown it so far. They want to use that must-win situation if they think they can win the league title.

Forget about the two centre-halves, there’s other parts of the team - midfield, going forward. The back-up players haven’t been good enough, there’s a lot of players that have been involved, especially in Liverpool’s game the other night against Brighton, where Brighton were the better team. Milner, Shaqiri, Origi, Kelleher - okay, he’s a young goalkeeper coming through.

"These boys, they wouldn’t get in the Man City team, they wouldn’t get in the United team or even the Leicester team. The two centre-halves have been a huge problem but the other parts of the team haven’t been up to it."

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