Jose Mourinho called into question whether Liverpool have the right mentality to lift their first Premier League crown before the title-chasers were held to a goalless draw at Everton.
The Portuguese highlighted their recent form, with just two wins and four draws from six league games, as evidence that they are 'not the same' as earlier in the season, with the derby stalemate leaving them one point behind leraders Manchester City.
Having started the season in electric form, Jurgen Klopp's team have seen their momentum falter in recent weeks after drawing against Leicester, West Ham and Manchester United since Christmas.
Mourinho told BeIn Sports: 'I think Liverpool are not the same as they were a few months ago where everything was going in their direction.
'The Salah chance would be a goal. these little things, I don't think they are as they were before.
'He would have scored six weeks ago with his right foot, with a deflection, with a rebound.
'For example, my last match (for Manchester United) against Liverpool, the two winning goals were two deflections. They had moments but I think this is not their moment.'
Alongside the collective downturn in performance, the former Manchester United boss also picked out the declining form of individual players within the team.
'I don't think it is misfortune, I just think it is moments.
'You can see for example Milner for a period was a phenomenal player for them, he's on the bench. Why? Because the form is going a little, because he is a llittle tired, because he has a little knock and is not fully fit.
'The same happened with Firmino. He is coming back now, is he fit to start? no probably not that is why he is on the bench.
'They are having these little problems.'