By Dave Martinez

IF you want to pick the bones out of it, by all means feel free to do so. Me? I haven’t got the heart to watch that game ever again, let alone to try and make sense of it. Things went tits up. Anything said on top of that is irrelevant nitpicking to my mind. Agger instead of Moses? Shut the game down at 3-1? Go to five at the back? Yeah, sound, whatever. We lived by the sword, and last night we all but died by it.

But I defy anyone to tell me that when Luis Suarez got that third goal you weren”t believing.

Football - FA Premier League - Crystal Palace FC v Liverpool FC

There was no celebrating when the masterful Uruguayan netted. Sod three nil. It was all about getting that ball back in play and winning by five or six or more. Only this Liverpool side would have believed they could still win the title on goal difference and have had the brass balls to go for it like that. Brendan might have called it ‘Roy of the Rovers football’ and lamented the fact that his boys weren”t more measured, but I say ‘fuck that’. ‘Roy of the Rovers football’ has got us this far. Despite all of our flaws (and we have plenty of them), it’s got us 81 points, 99 goals and to the summit of the table after 37 games.

At three nil up this ridiculous team had me expecting the impossible. Not even Melchester Rovers would have had the moxie to attempt what the Reds did last night. I was anticipating a fourth, a fifth, a sixth. I didn”t want a three nil win. No other team in the country would have been racing back to half way when they held such a lead over a team as awkward and resilient as Crystal Palace. No other top side would have left themselves wide open and thrown two points away, either.

Only Liverpool.

The defensive capitulation was horrendous. At 3-2 the equaliser was inevitable. It was painful to watch and the only solace I can take is that I can now turn to my father (an Italian who supports a certain team we played in Istanbul once) and say ‘I understand a bit better. That must have killed you’.

The lack of resilience, the absence of a leader at the back, the inability to stem the tide, they’re all discussions for the summer. This team have lots to improve upon and improve they will, but right now I”m not ready to think about any of that. This season still hasn”t finished and with one game remaining, Liverpool Football Club will take to the field on Sunday knowing that they could still be crowned champions of England. Forget Newcastle. The Geordies are going to be eviscerated at Anfield this weekend. It’s all about Villa and big Andy now. We’re at their mercy.

Is there likely to be a happy ending to all of this? In short, no. Last night’s implosion made that already slim possibility slimmer still, but how exhilarating were those second half minutes when we genuinely dared to do the impossible? They went down swinging. You can’t ask for This page is viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. more. Shut up shop with a 3-0 lead? When thousands of lads and girls in the stands are screaming ‘ATTACK, ATTACK, ATTACK’ and believing in the impossible? Believing in those players? Nah, not likely. Those boys might well have fallen at the last, but my goodness they took us on one hell of a ride.

This isn”t intended to be some mad, overly optimistic call to arms. People have the right to be pissed off and devastated. They don’t have to tweet the word ‘BELIEVE’ or applaud the lads for a great season, because last night was the most bitter of pills to swallow and will need time to be digested. We all get over these things in different ways and over varying periods of time. Some will be looking on the bright side already while others will be far too deflated to even contemplate cracking a smile or raising a glass for what looks destined to be glorious failure. That’s fine. Rant to your hearts content. Cry away if you must. Everyone has earned the right to shed a tear or two this season.

Football - FA Premier League - Crystal Palace FC v Liverpool FC

So here we are. One game left and this is Manchester City’s title to throw away. Everyone is preparing for their coronation, and rightly so. They are an excellent side and Manuel Pellegrini has eight fingers on the Premier League trophy. Four points from six and they will have done it. Four from six. It”s probably going to happen. But if it doesn”t?

What team could possibly raise themselves to snatch this title from City should they slip up?

Only Liverpool.


Pics: David Rawcliffe / Propaganda