Mauricio Pochettino felt Spurs lacked title-winning quality after producing a dismal first-half display in a one-sided Premier League encounter at Anfield.
The Tottenham boss was downbeat about Spurs’ title prospects after what was a demoralising defeat.
Spurs were outplayed in the first half and were unable to claw themselves back into the game after conceding twice early on.
Pochettino said on BT Sport: “If you saw today the first 45 minutes, that is not a team that are ready to fight for the Premier League.”
He later added: “It will be difficult. It is true nine points is a massive gap and if they (Chelsea) win tomorrow it will be 12 and even more difficult than before.
“We are second in the table, one point above Liverpool. My feeling now is not so good but we need to recover from the defeat and try to fight.
“We need to be focused now on Thursday in Europa League and then the FA Cup, then the Europa League and then Stoke at home.
“We cannot waste time thinking too much. We need to be clever now and try to improve our game from the beginning and not wait until 2-0 to start to play.”
Pochettino had no complaints about the result after Spurs were run ragged and were perhaps lucky not to concede more with Mane twice going close to completing a hat-trick.
He said: “Fully deserved Liverpool – they were better than us. If you reach this level from the beginning sometimes this happens.
“After 20 minutes, 2-0 down, and then it is late to react. The truth is they played better than us.
“It was difficult for us, (we had) plenty of problems. It is difficult to explain. Over 94 minutes I think we were poor and we never coped with the tempo of the game.”
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