Liverpool supporters were devastated when former Red striker Craig Bellamy’s deflected shot flew home to put Manchester City up one-nil in the 49th minute yesterday. Liverpool entered the match eight points behind Manchester United, and players and supporters alike don’t need reminding: their side cannot afford to concede many more points.
Dirk Kuyt’s fine equalizer rescued a point for the Merseyside hopefuls, but a win would have kept them firmly in the race. There is still room for hope in the famous Anfield boot room.
Manchester United must still visit. Spurs, Boro and Newcastle: three sides with varied form, but who tend to cause problems for the big four. They also host Arsenal and Aston Villa and have the Manchester derby before the season ends.
Liverpool have already secured a win against Man U and they ended Chelsea’s long home unbeaten run. If they can translate the confidence and belief from these successes into a win at Old Trafford on 14 March, they can cut the lead to 4 points. Then it would only take two Man U draws for Liverpool to pull level. Assuming they will all their remaining matches.
It seems a lot to ask, so many United points dropped and a flawless run to see out Liverpool’s season, but as anyone who watched the Red comeback against AC Milan in 2005 knows: miracles happen in football.
Liverpool must go for it. Full strength. Full belief. The return of Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso and a good result against Real Madrid in Wednesday’s Champions League fixture could be just the boost the Merseyside club need. But even if they don’t win the league this season, it will be important to keep fighting and keep improving. This is already their best season since 1990. There’s plenty to build on and plenty left to dream for Liverpool FC.