Top – Premier League title race: How Liverpool avoided 2014-style slip-up against Chelsea


Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk (left) shares a light-hearted second with Andrew Robertson, who escaped Steven Gerrard’s destiny

When Andrew Robertson slipped on the Anfield turf late within the second half of Liverpool’s victory over Chelsea on Sunday, there was a short silence because the ghost of 2014 reared its head.

Liverpool may need been main 2-Zero on the time, however after fixed reminders of the identical fixture 5 years in the past when Steven Gerrard’s fall gifted Chelsea their opening objective on the way in which to a victory that undid the Reds’ title problem, it was clear a number of the scars remained.

So when Liverpool lastly recovered the ball and hazard was averted, it was no shock {that a} cheer rang across the stadium. Jurgen Klopp even smiled on the touchline.

Everybody knew the importance of the second. After watching Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah rating throughout the area of two minutes to earn a 2-Zero lead, it was closing affirmation that this time, it could be completely different.

Liverpool handed the take a look at that wracked the nerves of so many followers beforehand. Klopp stated on Friday that the sport in 2014, which helped Manchester Metropolis to the title, had no bearing on his workforce this time round. And he was proper.

From their ways, to their personnel and an unwillingness to not be distracted by outdoors forces, Liverpool banished the reminiscence of ‘the slip’ without end, in response to the German.

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“We are able to lastly shut the slipping e-book,” Klopp stated. “Robertson slipped and nothing occurred, so it isn’t a Liverpool factor. Executed.”

In one of many tightest title races in years, it was one other signal that Klopp’s aspect may need sufficient going for them to win a primary league championship in 29 years.

Ditching the carnival

When former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard slipped, Demba Ba capitalised to attain for Chelsea in a decisive recreation close to the top of the 2013-14 season

There are a lot of methods through which this Liverpool workforce is completely different to the 2014 one, not least by way of expertise, however the strategy of followers and the membership has modified too.

By the point of the match in 2014, which was in a while within the season, Liverpool had gained 11 successive league video games, and appeared to be closing in on the title.

The followers may sense it they usually let it present. For house video games, they surrounded the workforce bus down the Anfield Street strategy to the stadium, lending matches a carnival-like ambiance.

Being within the hunt for this 12 months’s Premier League seems extra regular. After all the membership are determined to finish their lengthy wait, however with Manchester Metropolis two factors behind with a recreation in hand, there aren’t any untimely celebrations.

Even on the finish of Sunday’s recreation, the Kop sang about Liverpool being high of the league, not profitable it.

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A calmer, extra affected person strategy

Liverpool followers have been in full voice at Anfield on an emotional afternoon the place in addition they remembered the 30th anniversary of Hillsborough

Again in 2014, the carnival ambiance proved a misjudgement, aggravating then Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who introduced his traditional present for tactical controversy to the encounter.

He described the pre-match celebration a “circus” and complained his workforce had been solid as “clowns”. Reds boss Brendan Rodgers stated their opponents had “parked two buses” that day and admitted his workforce couldn’t cope.

Klopp’s aspect now, like Rodgers’ then, are arguably one of the best attacking workforce within the league, however they’re extra tactically versatile and in addition know when to bide their time reasonably than getting annoyed if they can’t rating early.

Liverpool have scored a league-high 21 targets within the closing 15 minutes of video games this season, however they didn’t want to attend that lengthy as Mane and Salah struck within the area of two minutes shortly after the break.

Klopp stated of Salah’s objective: “It blew me away.”

Not for the primary time this season, Liverpool additionally responded to a Metropolis win by holding their nerve to provide three factors of their very own.

Liverpool could have been helped by developing in opposition to a Maurizio Sarri aspect extra targeted on their very own type than disrupting the opposition however, mentally, Klopp’s workforce look stronger than their predecessors.

An skilled supervisor in management

Supervisor Jurgen Klopp has not gained a trophy at Liverpool since becoming a member of in 2015

Critics usually level out that Klopp has but to win something with Liverpool regardless of a hefty price range however the German has been right here earlier than.

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With Borussia Dortmund, he twice held off German giants Bayern Munich to win successive Bundesliga titles,

Klopp stated after the sport: “What we need to do is acquire as many factors as attainable. That is 85 factors now, so with 4 video games to play meaning [we can get] 97.

“Let’s strive that and if that is sufficient, excellent. If it isn’t, we can’t change it. We did not lose it right here or there. Very sensible folks say ‘when you’d overwhelmed Leicester you would be champions’ and stuff like this.

“Solely weak folks and idiots convey one thing like this up.”

Klopp’s aspect are actually one level wanting the title-winning complete Metropolis reached in 2014 – however with 4 video games remaining.

Whether or not that gives any real solace in the event that they end second stays to be seen, however Klopp was at pains to recommend it can.

“We count on Manchester Metropolis to win all their video games so we simply have to get as many factors as attainable and if we’re champions then nice but when not it’s nonetheless a extremely good soccer workforce.”


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