Liverpool attacker Sadio Mane has admitted that the Premier League champions will not be successfully defending their crown this season.
The Reds were unplayable in the 2019-20 campaign, but amid a plethora of injuries, Jurgen Klopp’s men have struggled to keep pace with Manchester City in the current season.
Sixth-placed Liverpool find themselves 19 points adrift of Pep Guardiola’s men after losing four on the trot in the top flight, and Mane has urged his teammates to focus on the Champions League now that the Premier League dream is “over”.
Speaking to ESPN Brazil, the Senegalese winger said: “Our target from the beginning was [winning] the Champions League, the Premier League and also cup games. And now, I can say it’s over for the Premier League… it’s too much.
“In our head, our self-belief, it’s always ‘never give up’, and we won’t give up, but for sure, Manchester [City] are a good team and they’re flying.
“The Champions League, that is our main, main, main target. To win it, not be second, but it won’t be easy. You’re going to face the best teams in Europe, but we’re here to beat the best in the world. We’ll do everything possible to go forward and win the Champions League.”
Mane has chipped in with seven goals and four assists so far in the top flight this term ahead of Liverpool’s trip to rock-bottom Sheffield United on Sunday evening.