Jürgen Klopp holds hope at Liverpool against Aston Villa as Man City get double Premier League warnings
It wasn’t always pretty, but in the end Jürgen Klopp’s men did the job to amp up the pressure on Manchester City and lead the Premier League title race in the penultimate game of the season.
Pep Guardiola will have been full of smiles after the first four minutes watching the game from the comfort of his own home. After all, it was his club’s former protege who opened the scoring for Aston Villa, but Liverpool ultimately asserted their control to ensure the Man City boss didn’t have time to relax in the coming days.
Victory still only gives Liverpool a small glimmer of hope in the Premier League title race, knowing they need Man City to drop points and increase their own goal difference by at least three when their last two games of the season. It’s not an impossible scenario, especially as any point lost for Guardiola would result in a favorable development on goal difference anyway, but the turnaround remains unlikely.
READ MORE: Six things spotted in Liverpool v Aston Villa as Jürgen Klopp’s new main man beats VAR failure
READ MORE: Liverpool must accept ‘stupid money’ for Sadio Mane transfer as Man City race still not over
Nevertheless, victory ensures that they still have a chance, and as long as there is a chance: hope remains. Klopp will take particular solace not only in his own team’s performance and courage to get the job done, but also in his opponents’ ability to cause him secondary problems. After all, the fate of Liverpool does not simply rest in their hands – Klopp relies on others to help him achieve the impossible, including Aston Villa.
Steven Gerrard’s side may still have a role to play in this upside-down Premier League title race, with his side set to face Manchester City on the final day of the season.
Before tonight, even the most optimistic Liverpool supporter would have given little hope of a shock Villa victory against Guardiola’s side. However, based on the way Gerrard presented his side tonight and gave Liverpool plenty of problems at the back, the possibility of a Hollywood scenario may still be on the cards.
If only Gerrard’s side can replicate a similar performance in two weeks time, Liverpool could still end up lifting the Premier League trophy. That’s what Klopp is likely to ask the former Liverpool legend.
There was no incentive for Gerrard’s team to pull out all the stops. With nothing to play for, Villa could have easily succumbed and sat down, but the lack of pressure on opponents Liverpool only freed them to do even better.
Gerrard will ask them for more of the same at the Etihad on May 22. Whether the result is in Liverpool’s favor only time will tell – but with Aston Villa sending Manchester City a reminder here, they will be well aware that there have been crazier stories written on the final day in the past.