It was supposed to be the game where Liverpool piled the pressure back onto Manchester City in the race for the Premier League title. Ultimately, it was the game that slightly eased it on City instead. Liverpool drew 3-3 with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park and in doing so, gave City not only a boost, but slight room for error now in their remaining two games as well.
Chances are City would have beaten both Aston Villa and West Ham United at the Etihad Stadium in their final two league games anyway, but now, even a win and a draw will be enough for City to be crowned champions. It all looked so good for Liverpool too; leading 3-0 after 55 minutes, it actually seemed as though Liverpool may really rack the goals up and give themselves some kind of fighting chance of catching City and their goal difference.
But in the end, their defense is what let them down and, at the very least, cost them this game. This match really sums up the Liverpool team this season: brilliant going forward, always capable of scoring multiple goals at any time, but fragile in defense. At times, they have to be as devastating in attack as they are because the defense behind them is just not as secure as it ideally would be.
That was certainly how it played out against Palace, and both Brendan Rodgers and the Liverpool players will be disappointed at such a collapse at such an important time of the season. It was already in City’s hands, but after today’s game, that grip is a little tighter than it was before. It looks bleak for Liverpool, but City haven’t exactly been firing on all cylinders lately. You wouldn’t expect a slip-up from them, but it’s not impossible either.
In the Premier League, as we have seen over and over again, anything is possible. And now that it is completely out of Liverpool’s hands, they will have to pray that there is still another unexpected twist to come. If it doesn’t come, though, they will know that in losing out to City, their attack did everything it could possibly do and their defense is what has let them down — both against Palace and over the season as a whole.