Lovren was at fault for both of Christian Benteke’s goals at Anfield on Sunday, producing a woeful defensive display before being substituted on 78 minutes.
While it was believed to be due to a fitness concern, this was a major reprieve for the Croatian, who had struggled throughout.
Two failed lunges on the left-hand side gave Palace their opportunities to score: first directly, with Yohan Cabaye crossing for Benteke to touch home, and then leading to a corner.
And having seen Benteke head home that resulting set-piece to consign the Reds to defeat, Carragher questioned Lovren’s judgment.
“We’re looking at the same problems that we’ve spoken about all season, you think at centre-back and at set pieces,” he told Sky Sports.
“Lovren’s involvement in both goals—both times, he tries to knick the ball [and misses].
“Jurgen Klopp spoke last week of playing ‘adult football’, well he’s one of the most experienced players in the squad.
“[He should] read the situation and know whether to dive in, and he got it wrong on both occasions.”
And Carragher believes losing to Palace has put his former side in a difficult position.
“I think Liverpool are in a big fight now. Manchester United, [Manchester] City, Arsenal are all in there,” he continued.
“Before today, I fancied it would be Man City and Liverpool to make those spots their own, especially with the fixtures.
“But that will give Manchester United a massive lift, especially with their result [a 2-0 win against Burnley].
“Liverpool’s result will give United and Arsenal massive belief that they can make the top four.”
And poor performances from key players like Lovren cannot become a regular occurrence, or they will miss out.