Following Liverpool’s dramatic victory over Manchester City on Sunday at Anfield, they are now firm favourites to win their first English league title since 1990.
The emotion around the ground leapt out from sky’s coverage, not just because of the importance of the game, but more importantly the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. This emotion was on show for all to see on Liverpool’s captain Stevens Gerrard’s face, as he struggled to hold it together upon the final whistle.
Gerrard more than anyone else embodies Liverpool as a club and it will be fitting if he caps off a fantastic career by adding the one club trophy that has eluded him so far, the Premier League title.
Liverpool’s progression under Brendan Rodgers has been nothing short of remarkable and it has been refreshing to see them back pushing for the league title. While Suarez has grabbed a lot of the headlines, rightfully so, the English core of Liverpool’s team has played a huge role in their success. Aside from Gerrard, Englishmen, Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson have all had stand out seasons, none of which were particular expected.
For me Henderson is the one who has most surprised me. As a youngster at Sunderland he looked a very promising talent and since Rodgers has come to the club he has started to show more of his potential. For me I would start him for England in Brazil alongside team mate Gerrard.
Despite the victory over City, two problems have arose from the weekend for Liverpool. Daniel Strurridge and Jordan Henderson. Despite Strurridge looking out of sorts the last few weeks, he has still been a crucial part of their success this season and it is unclear what the extent of his injury is. Jordan Hendersons last minute red card was deserved for a late lunge brought on by the pressure of the game and he will now miss three of the final four games including the fixture vs Chelsea. At the start of the season I would never have believed Henderson would have had such a good campaign, however he will be a loss as he has been one of the key parts to Liverpool’s success this season, Joe Allan or Lucas will come into his place.
All that stands in the way of Liverpool from capturing the league title is four games, four wins will see them lift the trophy, but as Gerrard and Rodgers stated in post match interviews the job is far from over yet.
First they travel to a Norwich side next weekend, who are looking more and more likely to be playing Championship football next season. Chris Hughton recently was relived of his post as manager and following the sides defeat at Fulham at the weekend ,they are now only two points off the relegation zone. Norwich should not pose any problems to a Liverpool side at the height of their confidence.
Then comes the last major hurdle, the visit of Jose Mourinho and Chelsea to Anfield. Like yesterday if Liverpool approach the game positively they can win the game and remain in the poll position to regain the title.
After Chelsea the last two games on paper should be ok for the Reds, Crystal Palace and Newcastle. Both could provide tough opposition on their day, but now neither have anything to play for, hence a upset would be extremely unlikely from two sides likely thinking of the summer and sunny beaches rather then stopping Liverpool’s march to the title.
I think that this is Liverpool’s time, they may not get as good a chance at the title again in the near future, next season will bring the added impact of the Champions League on a side which currently at least does not have the biggest squad.
Despite the pressure they will now be under as clear title favourites, I think they will get across the line and for a neutral, such as myself, I will gladly enjoy seeing Steven Gerrard lift the Premier League Crown his career deserves.