Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Is Liverpool's draw with Crystal Palace such a bad result for title-chasing team?

Liverpool's Luis Suarez, holds his shirt to his face following the end of the English Premier League soccer match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool at Selhurst Park stadium in London, Monday, May 5, 2014. The game ended in a 3-3 draw. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
A dejected Luis Suarez, holds his shirt to his face following the end of the English Premier League soccer match (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

With Liverpool striker Luis Suarez crying on the Selhurst Park turf at the sound of the final whistle last night, onlookers could have been mistaken for thinking the Premier League title race is over.

However, the incredible 3-3 draw between the title chasing Reds and Crystal Palace does not spell the end, despite Brendan Rodgers claiming their Premier League hopes are now over.

Letting a lead slip always makes a result seem worse than perhaps it is. Had Liverpool come from 3-0 down to collect a point, it's likely Steven Gerrard would have been high-fiving his team-mates, huddling them together and telling them to "go again" in their final game of the season against Newcastle.

The point picked up last night guarantees the title race will go down to the final day of the season - just as it did two years ago. Back in 2012, when City's challengers for the title were Manchester United, few gave Sir Alex Ferguson's side much hope before the final round of fixtures kicked off. Yet despite a seemingly simple fixture against lowly QPR, it took a last gasp goal from Sergio Aguero for the script to go to plan.

After they were beaten 2-0 by Chelsea at Anfield, Liverpool were always going to need Manchester City to slip up. Last night's result simply means they need Manuel Pellegrini's side to slip up a little worse. Rather than draw with either Aston Villa or West Ham, now they must lose.

City have already lost to Villa this season, and they've been shocked by other teams - including Cardiff, Sunderland and Championship side Wigan.

The draw for Liverpool might just lull City into a sense that they've already crossed the line. Their players certainly couldn't contain their delight at last night's result, but Liverpool should believe that joy for City could be short lived.

Source: Independent

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