Liverpool need to “take their medicine and relax”, says Jamie Carragher, with Jurgen Klopp’s side still in a “fantastic position” despite suffering a 2-1 defeat at Manchester City.
The Reds headed to the Etihad Stadium on Thursday sat six points clear at the top of the Premier League table and seven in front of the reigning champions.
That gap is now down to four after Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane earned Pep Guardiola’s side a priceless victory on home soil – ending Liverpool’s unbeaten start to the season in the process.
Many now consider the title race to have been blown wide open, but Carragher feels those on Merseyside still hold the upper hand over rivals from Manchester and has urged them to realign their focus.
The former Reds defender told Sky Sports: "Going into this game, the talk was 'Liverpool could go 10 points clear' - a lot of the talk was Liverpool.
"A lot of the talk over the next few days in the press will be Man City - 'Man City are back in the race and they are now favourites to win the league'.
"Liverpool need to just take their medicine, just relax, calm down, play the FA Cup game. Whatever happens, whatever team he picks, it's then Brighton that Liverpool play next.
"Four points clear is still a really good position to be in and the form they have shown, certainly against sides outside the top six, they have got a lot of those games coming.
"Liverpool just need to relax, get some wins under their belt, maybe improve that lead if they can over the next month to six weeks, but they're in a fantastic position."
Those comments have been echoed by Graeme Souness, with another Liverpool legend of the opinion that Klopp’s side remain the team to beat.
He said: "Liverpool are in great shape.
"Ask both managers what position you'd rather be in right now - you're going to take the four points sitting top of the league, especially with the run-in that Liverpool have."
Klopp conceded as much after seeing his side come unstuck in midweek, with the German coach telling reporters: "If someone had told me after both games against Man City that we were four points clear, I would have paid money for it, you cannot believe," Klopp told reporters.
"I didn't think it would be possible.”