Kop king & Richard Keys blame different stars over title capitulation

Carragher says Liverpool defence at fault while commentator identifies Rodgers as the problem as Manchester City take control Premier League title race.

It should perhaps come as no surprise that the specialist area of scrutiny for a former defender will be applied to a specific club's rearguard, particularly when it's porous and naive enough to concede thrice in the space of nine late, second half minutes in what could have been a significant triumph as the Premier League title race nears it's conclusion.

Liverpool failed to stamp an authority over Crystal Palace and buckled under the pressure, going from 3-0 up after 55 minutes, holding a clean sheet until the 79th minute then sieving three goals to only leave South London with a draw, one point and teary-faces as Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard recognise the fact they have squandered whatever advantage they had built up in the past three months in the space of two games.

What had gotten them into their lofty position - their adventure - had been their undoing.

All Brendan Rodgers had to do against Chelsea was play to draw, but the team were set up to win and ended up losing as a result. Against Palace, all they had to do was hold tight on a two or three nil victory but they went for a rugby score and ended up paying the price.

Who is to blame?

"Even when they've been winning games it's been 4-3 or 6-3 or 3-2," commented Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher to Sky Sports.

"We always felt the defence would come back and haunt them with the goals they've conceded. Goal difference could become a factor. Liverpool were throwing men forward and people were staying up front and maybe weren't coming back, but the back four and the defensive side of this team have shown they can't cope with the pressure.

"When they come under pressure, we saw them at Norwich dropping back into the box. [Mamadou] Sakho and [Martin] Skrtel don't communicate enough and they're not pushing out," he said, identifying two guilty parties. "They're good players, but they're not leaders. They got out of jail during the Norwich game. We mentioned on the day it could have easily been 3-3. They basically haven't learned the lesson of that game.

"[Last night was] the night that they haven't got away with it and they've probably lost the league title. I look at those centre-backs and that's weak mentally for me, not pushing out."

Renowned pundit Richard Keys, who has provided the colour commentary on a plethora of 'Pool games, said that "Liverpool were undone by their own naivety again", but rather than pinpoint the defence as the ones to blame, Keys says it should be shouldered by Rodgers.

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