Reds supporter Ryan Lim reflects on a vital victory against Manchester City and opines that their remaining two games at Norwich City and Crystal Palace are the toughies leftCOMMENT
A pulsating, end-to-end thriller, befitting of a clash of seismic proportions that was widely tipped as thetitle decider - and it very well could have been.
You could cut the tension with a knife. The nerves were setting in as kick off approached. Both sets of fans knew exactly what was riding on this game.
Six minutes in, it all went away. Raheem Sterling put Liverpool in front, showing remarkable composure to fool Joe Hart and round him before slotting home into the empty net after being slipped through by a perfectly weighted ball from Luis Suarez. Anfield was well and truly rocking.
Martin Skrtel added a second for the hosts on 26 minutes after losing his marker and powering home a header from Steven Gerrard’s corner.
Liverpool were bossing the game. By half-time, there looked to be only one clear winner in this season-defining clash - or so it seemed.
City showed the grit and backbone that has seen them labelled as favourites for the title, starting the second half strongly and wiping out Liverpool’s two goal advantage almost instantly, courtesy of a well-worked move clinically put away by David Silva and an unfortunate Glen Johnson own goal.
The hosts had thrown away their lead. City were in control and the game looked to have slipped out of their reach when, in the 78th minute, a scuffed clearance from Vincent Kompany fell kindly for Philippe Coutinho, who took it first time and drove the ball into the corner brilliantly; Joe Hart was emphatically beaten, Liverpool had won.
The significance of these three crucial points cannot be underlined. Another win from their five remaining games will secure Liverpool’s place in next season’s Champions League – four more will see them lift their first league title in 14 years.
Away form key to title hopes
If I’ve learnt anything from this result, it’s that the fate of Liverpool’s title charge is going to come right down to their performances in their remaining two away games.
Why? Simple. I can’t see them dropping points at Anfield. Not to Chelsea and especially not to Newcastle, not after what I’ve bore witness to in the past six home games: six wins and a staggering 23 goals scored in a run that saw the likes of Everton, Arsenal and Spurs simply outclassed.
With that said, their visits to Carrow Road and Selhurst Park will prove to be as tough as any games they’ve faced this season. Norwich, who are tussling for survival in this relegation dogfight, is well-capable of pulling off an upset and Tony Pulis’s organised, hardworking Crystal Palace team has already proved that they can hold their own after beating Chelsea just a few weeks back.
With all that’s riding on these two games, they will undoubtedly prove to be the Reds’s toughest two tests they’ve faced this season in their quest for the coveted Premier League crown.