When Robertson slipped at Anfield in the second half there was a moment of panic in the Stadium. It looked as though the ghost of 2014 reared its head. Even though Liverpool were solidly leading 2-0 when Roberston slipped, the remainder of that game was too strong in the Reds’ fans, and it was clear that there are still some scars dating back to that period.
When however Liverpool managed to recover the ball and avoid the danger, a cheer rang in the stadium. Even Klopp was smiling on the touchline. Everyone could see that as a symbol.
Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah scored in just two minutes to secure a 2-0 lead and that was the confirmation that things will be very different this time.
It was a nervy test for Liverpool but the reds have passed the test very well. After all, Klopp said in the pre-match interview that the game in 2014 had nothing to do on his team this time around. And his team demonstrated this entirely on the pitch. Liverpool completely banished the memory of that ‘slip’.
This is undoubtedly one of the tightest title races in the last few years and it is a clear sign that Klopp’s side might just have enough nerves to win the first title in the last 29 years. According to bestbettingsites, Liverpool are now 11/10 to win the title while Man City are 4/5.
There are many reasons why Liverpool is different from the 2013-14 season. Not only they have lots more experience but since then the club and fans approach has also changed.
In 2014 Liverpool came to this match on the back of 11 consecutive winning games and looked very close to winning the title. The fans could feel it and put lots of pressure on the team. Everything there was a home game, they were surrounding the players bus giving to every game a carnival-like atmosphere.
This year being in the run for the Premier League title looks a lot more normal team. Surely everyone is desperate to end the long wait but with Manchester City that are just two points behind with one game in hand, we haven’t seen no premature celebrations at Anfield. So everyone has had a much more controlled approach.
Similarly to 2014 Liverpool are the best attacking tea in the Premier League. The main difference with that year is that they are a lot more flexible tactically. They also know how to wait if they cannot score early. This is very clear from the stats as they have a league-high 21 goals in the last quarter of games in this season. Against Chelsea, they didn’t have to wait that long as Mane and Salah managed to find the back of the net just two minutes after the break.
It is also important to remember that once again Livepool have been able to respond to a City win. This clearly shows that they are mature enough to hold their nerves.
The reds were helped by the fact that Maurizio Sarri’s men are mostly focused on playing in their own way rather than disrupting the opposition play but mentally it is clear to see that Klopp’s men look a lot stronger than in the last years.
Most critics are pointing out that Klopp has yet to win a title with Liverpool despite the heavy investments in the transfer market. This is true but let’s remember that in Germany he managed to defeat twice Bayern Munich to win titles with Borussia Dortmund.
Klopp’s men are now just one point short of that City team that won the league in 2014. They do have four games remaining though so surely they have done something great already. If Man City win all their remaining games Liverpool will not win the title. They will still be a very strong football team tough.