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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Readers' Comments

W

e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

HarryBoulton
One Point And One Conclusion For United

P

arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

magicfuller
Warnock sacked by Palace

W

e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

gettalong
Wenger: Giroud deserved red

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