Premier League title race: How Liverpool avoided 2014-style slip-up against Chelsea

15/04/2019 00:54

How a calmer, stronger Liverpool have held their nerve to remain in contention for a first league title in 29 years.

When Andy Robertson slipped on the Anfield turf late in the second half of Liverpool's victory over Chelsea on Sunday, there was a brief silence as the ghost of 2014 reared its head.

Liverpool might have been leading 2-0 at the time, but after constant reminders of the same fixture five years ago when Steven Gerrard's fall gifted Chelsea their opening goal on the way to a victory that undid the Reds' title challenge, it was clear some of the scars remained.

So when Liverpool finally recovered the ball and danger was averted, it was no surprise that a cheer rang around the stadium. Jurgen Klopp even smiled on the touchline.

Everyone knew the significance of the moment. After watching Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah score within the space of two minutes to earn a 2-0 lead, it was final confirmation that this time, it would be different.

Analysis: How De Bruyne and Salah showed class is permanentReaction to Liverpool's victoryKlopp and Guardiola on title race

Liverpool passed the test that wracked the nerves of so many fans beforehand. Klopp said on Friday that the game in 2014, which helped Manchester City to the title, had no bearing on his team this time around. And he was right.

From their tactics, to their personnel and an unwillingness not to be distracted by outside forces, Liverpool banished the memory of 'the slip' forever, according to the German.

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

In one of the tightest title races in years, it was another sign that Klopp's side might have enough going for them to win a first league championship in 29 years.

Ditching the carnivalWhen former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard slipped, Demba Ba capitalised to score for Chelsea in a decisive game near the end of the 2013-14 season


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