Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Home Sport Premier League Title Race: How Liverpool slipped against Chelsea in 2014

Premier League Title Race: How Liverpool slipped against Chelsea in 2014

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk (left) shares a carefree moment with Andrew Robertson, who escaped Steven Gerrard's fate

When Andy Robertson slipped into the Anfield pitch on Sunday in the second half of the Liverpool victory over Chelsea, there was a brief silence as the 2014 ghost lifted his head.

Liverpool had taken a 2-0 lead at the time, but with memories of the same match five years ago, when Steven Gerrard's crash gave Chelsea the first goal of the win separating the Reds' title challenge, it was clear the scars remained.

When Liverpool finally regained the ball and the danger was averted, it was no wonder that the stadium cheered. Jürgen Klopp even smiled on the sidelines.

Everyone knew about the importance of the moment. With Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah 2-0 ahead within two minutes, it was the definitive confirmation that it would be different this time.

Liverpool passed the test, which shook the nerves of so many fans in advance. Klopp said on Friday that the 2014 game that helped Manchester City win the title did not affect his team this time. And he was right.

From their tactics to the staff and reluctance not to be distracted by outside forces, Liverpool forbade the memory of the "gaffe" forever, according to the German.

"We can finally close the slipping book," said Klopp. "Robertson slipped and nothing happened, so it's not a Liverpool thing.

In one of the closest title races in years, it was another sign that Klopp's team could have had enough to win a first championship in 29 years.

End the carnival

When former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard relaxed, Demba Ba scored a crucial game against Chelsea at the end of the 2013/14 season

There are many ways in which the Liverpool team is different from 2014, not least in terms of experience, but also the attitude of the fans and the club has changed.

At the time of the game in 2014, which took place later in the season, Liverpool had won eleven consecutive league games and seemed to come to the title.

The fans could feel it and let it show themselves. At home games, they rounded the team bus along Anfield Road to the stadium and gave the games a carnival-like atmosphere.

It seems to be more normal hunting for this year's Premier League. Of course, the club is desperate to end its long wait, but with Manchester City, two points behind a game in hand, there are no premature celebrations.

Even at the end of the game on Sunday, the Kop sang, Liverpool is the league leader and not the winner.

A calmer, more patient approach

Liverpool fans rallied Anfield on Sunday

In 2014, the carnival atmosphere turned out to be mistaken and exacerbated Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who brought with him his usual talent for tactical controversy.

He described the party before the game as a "circus" and complained that his team had been cast as "clowns". Reds boss Brendan Rodgers said her opponents had "parked two buses" that day and admitted that his team would not make it.

Klopp's squad, like Rodgers, is probably the best attacking team in the league, but they are tactically more flexible and also know when to wait their time instead of getting frustrated if they can not score early.

Liverpool scored 21 goals in the last 15 minutes of the season this season, but Mane and Salah did not have to wait long.

Not for the first time this season, Liverpool also responded to a city victory by nervously scoring three points.

Liverpool may have helped by meeting a team of Maurizio Sarri who is more focused on their own style than bothering the opposition, but Klopp's team looks mentally stronger than their predecessors.

An experienced manager in control

Manager Jurgen Klopp has not won a trophy in Liverpool since joining in 2015

Critics often point out that despite a hefty budget Klopp could not win anything with Liverpool, but the German has been here before.

With Borussia Dortmund he was able to hold the German FC Bayern Munich twice to win Bundesliga title in a row.

Klopp said after the game: "What we want to do is score as many points as possible, which is 85 points, so with four games that means that [we can get] 97th

"Let's try it, and if that's enough, perfect, if not, we can not change it, we did not lose it here or there, very smart people say," "If you defeated Leicester, you'd be Champions & # # 39, and so on.

"Only weak people and idiots bring up such a thing."

Klopps team is now one point under the title, which was won in 2014 with four wins.

It remains to be seen if this will provide real comfort when they take second place, but Klopp tried to suggest this.

"We expect Manchester City to win all its games, so we have to score as many points as possible, and if we're champions, that's great, and if not, it's a really good football team."


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