Jurgen Klopp has been branded "classless" in a scathing criticism over the Liverpool manager's excuses for their poor run of form.
The Reds slipped to their second defeat of the campaign on Monday night at Southampton, making it three league games without a win, and just one victory in their last eight on away soil.
Klopp took aim at Man Utd in his post-match press conference, complaining Liverpool rival's are awarded more penalties than his side.
It was the latest topic Klopp focused on, following rants at TV broadcasters as well as match organisers for the congested and inconvenient fixture schedule.
But former Derby midfielder Craig Burley believes Klopp is just trying to deflect attention away from his side's shortcomings and blasted him over his most recent case of sour grapes.
"For two years this side has been unbelievable exemplerary," Burley told ESPN. "Neck and neck with [Man] City the year they win the league, they [Liverpool] win the Champions League.
"Last year, untouchable domestically. Now, under pressure if they don’t win the league we know what it's [the excuses are] going to be: the broadcasters, the scheduling of the early morning kick-offs, ‘I wanted five subs and I didn’t get it’, and now the officials are against him as well.
"I mean it’s pretty classless from a manager who has been class all the way pretty much, up until now."
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It's been an extremely interesting start to the season for Jurgen Klopp's men.
They got their title defence off to a shaky start as they edged out a seven-goal thriller against Leeds, before going on to conceded seven in a hammering by Aston Villa.
Virgil van Dijk's season was ended by injury in the 2-2 draw at Everton, leaving the title favourites looking far less secure at the back – especially with Alisson's injury worries too.
But there's no slowing down in what is going to be a busy campaign – with Klopp ensuring his men continue at full pace as they bid for more title glory.
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Sadio Mane had appeals for a penalty twice turned down by referee Andre Marriner, as Liverpool failed to find an answer to Southampton's second-minute goal – courtesy of former Reds striker Danny Ings.
The win keeps Liverpool top of the table on goal difference, but with Man Utd able to leapfrog them should they win their game in hand, ahead of the showdown between the teams at Anfield.
Klopp is still trying to juggle the injury crisis which has left him thread-bare of options in defence, with captain Jordan Henderson the latest to fill in at the back.
Despite calls for the club to sign a new centre-back, Klopp insists Liverpool will only dip into the market if the deal suits the club.
But the Reds' boss has now been urged to look inward for answers for his side's problems, rather than pointing blame elsewhere.
"The bottom line is his front three are not operating, he’s got to deal with the injuries at the back, he has youngsters in the centre-half positions he can choose them if he wants," Burley added.
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"If they’re not good enough in his eyes that’s his problem, he’s been their long enough. He could have replaced them, brought better youngsters in, if they’ve been given contracts they should be good enough to do a job.
"So he’s only got one place to look, and that's at himself this year, and not at the referees, not at VAR, not at the FA, the Premier League the broadcasters, it’s down to Liverpool. They’re way off the pace from where they were in the last two years."
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