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Ludogorets v Liverpool

Wednesday, 26 November 2014, 19:45

Champions League Group B

Selhurst Park

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C Palace 3 - 1 Liverpool

Sunday, 23 November 2014, 13:30

Barclays Prem

Rodgers: Title chase over

Brendan Rodgers has conceded defeat in the Premier League title race following Liverpool's late collapse at Crystal Palace.

Last Updated: 06/05/14 at 14:34 Post Comment

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The Reds stormed into a 3-0 lead at Selhurst Park and were eager to build on that advantage as they attempted to eat away at Manchester City's superior goal difference.

They were, however, to pay the price for defensive frailties, with Palace battling back to snatch an unlikely point.

Stalemate in the capital is enough to take Liverpool back to the top of the table, but they hold a slender one-point advantage heading into the final weekend and know City still have two more fixtures to take in.

Asked if a first top flight crown in 24 years had now eluded his side, Rodgers told Sky Sports: "Yes, I think we needed to win tonight to keep the pressure on.

"Manchester City, they have got two home games now, two tough games, but we needed to win it. I think Manchester City will go on and win their two games and they will be champions.

"But for us it's been an outstanding season up until now. For us to get 81 points, it's a great achievement. We're obviously disappointed now but we'll go again.

"We have got a great game at Anfield now to finish the season and we'll keep looking to build and develop what we're doing."

Rodgers admits that Liverpool did themselves few favours against Palace, with the ability to see out what looked like being a comfortable win sadly lacking.

He said on the mood in his camp: "As you can imagine, it's very quiet. For 75 minutes it was an outstanding performance, we got the goals. The important thing was to win the game tonight and to at least put some sort of pressure on Manchester City, but very disappointed that we conceded the three goals.

"It was very poor defending that cost us. They showed great spirit to come back. The comfort that we had in the game and the quality we showed to get 3-0 up, you've got to manage the game better than that.

"It's decision-making. We look at the goals - we can do better on the first one, they play a short free-kick, and probably the free-kick they had they probably played it short because they didn't want to be counter-attacked.

"We have got to close the ball quicker on the edge of the area, it takes a deflection and it's 3-1 with 12 minutes to go and extra-time and the game is still alive. It's very disappointing.

"You just have to manage the game on the field. The goals, the second one comes from our corner. We play a square pass across the edge of the box and they break away.

"It's just decision-making, you have to make better decisions in the game, and ultimately that's what cost us."

Former Liverpool centre-back - and now Sky Sports pundit - Jamie Carragher feels Liverpool have shown vulnerability in the back four all season.

And as Luis Suarez left the pitch in tears after the final whistle, he said the players only have themselves to blame.

"You look at Suarez and you think you feel sorry for him, but you can't feel sorry for Liverpool in that situation," he told Monday Night Football.

"That is not acceptable, for all the plaudits Liverpool have had in the last few months - and deservedly so as they have been the most outstanding team in the Premier League to watch and excited us all.

"But that has been their Achilles' heel all season. Even when they've been winning games it's been 4-3 or 6-3 or 3-2. We always felt the defence would come back and haunt them with the goals they've conceded.

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M

eanwhile, England's best U21 players playing with those most likely to be in the senior team from 2020 onwards might increase their chances in those tournaments to a point where they could actually be potential winners. Unlike 2016.

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m not a doctor, but the cause is likely to be crap dancing after scoring. My prognosis is we may need to take that leg off.

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or the time being we just have to focus on the players we do have, Rodgers said. We have to make the best of what is available. Jesus wept!

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