Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has identified the injury problems suffered by Fernando Torres as the main reason the club's title challenge has wilted.
An ankle injury picked up in the Champions League victory at Real Madrid last week is the latest knock for Torres who has managed just 15 league matches for Liverpool this season.
"The worst thing has been the injuries to Torres," Benitez told the BBC on Monday. "He is our striker. He scored a lot of goals for us last season and this season could have been totally different with him.
"(His ankle) is improving but it's still too early for him," added Benitez, who is hopeful that the Spaniard will return for the Champions League second leg against Real next week.
Liverpool have managed only 10 points from their last seven league games and have watched champions United pull away at the top on the back of 10 consecutive victories.
"We must keep going in the title race, to try to win each game as it comes along," Benitez said. "There are still lots of points to play for."
LIVERPOOL FANS! Check FourFourTwo.com’s ever-expanding interviews archive for more stuff to read: Web Exclusives Ian Rush, Craig Johnston Q&A Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres One on One Michael Owen, Nicolas Anelka, Kevin Keegan Boy's A Bit Special Danny Guthrie Ask A Silly Question John Barnes, Peter Crouch, Luis Garcia, John Aldridge Perfect XI Jamie Carragher What Happened Next? Julian Dicks And Another Thing Being a Big Four fan
Plus! Rate Liverpool players (and others) on Talentspottercomments