Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and captain Steven Gerrard have every right to be bitterly disappointed in the wake of their 2-0 defeat to Chelsea at Anfield on Sunday. But as Jose Mourinho celebrated emphatically on the touchline, the Blues’ victory only served to reinforce how wide open this title race is.
Liverpool remain at the top of the table but their inferior goal difference to Manchester City, who have a game in hand and are three points behind the Reds at present, means the Reds’ fight is no longer in their own hands. The fight for the title looks set to go right down to the wire on the final day of the season on May 11, as a three-horse race between City, Chelsea and the current leaders ensues following Sunday’s dramatic result.
City have a goal difference of plus 58 at present to Liverpool’s plus 50 but, as we were reminded this weekend, there are twists and turns yet left in this season. Arsenal led the table for months on end until just past the turn of the year when Chelsea took the reigns and looked to be every inch title favourites but the Blues’ costly defeats to mid-table teams and relegation candidates ought to have served as a warning to Liverpool who stormed into poll position unbeaten in 2014 until Sunday.
While Mourinho persists in his playing down of the Blues’ title credentials, no one really believes that for a second, especially after Sunday’s stoical defensive display. Chelsea play Norwich next Sunday after Manchester City face Everton with Liverpool travelling to Crystal Palace on Monday May 5th next week.
The Blues were held by the Toffees and lost at Selhurst Park to Tony Pulis’ side and once again, if we have learned nothing else from this season, it is that every team, all twenty, pose a genuine threat to the title rivals on their day.
Ultimately it may come down to one refereeing decision, one slip on the turf, one game, one half or even one second of taking their eye off the ball.
Brendan Rodgers will be understandably disappointed after the weekend, but he must take a lesson from Sunday’s defeat: anything and everything is possible in this league and, as such, Liverpool cannot afford to give up.