Liverpool display authority of old to reopen title race
Liverpool reopened the Premier League title race with a 5-0 win over Aston Villa that must have thrilled Anfield, while leaving fans wondering why they haven’t seen similar displays all season.
This was exactly the sort of performance the occasion cried out for. Manchester United’s 2-0 defeat at Fulham, following on from the Old Trafford debacle, had left the door ajar, and Liverpool duly barged it open with another display of absolute self-belief.
For the first time in years, Liverpool look like a team who think they’re in the business of winning titles, not just challenging for Champions League places.
They’re a point behind Alex Ferguson’s side now, albeit having played a game more, and the 13 goals racked up against Real Madrid, United and now Villa are a powerful argument that the title race is not over.
But it might have been so much better for Reds fans.
Where was this level of conviction in the New Year games, when Stoke, Everton and Wigan Athletic all claimed draws? How could they beat Chelsea, and snatch a win at Portsmouth only then to draw with Manchester City? How did they contrive to lose 2-0 at Middlesbrough?
I bet many Liverpool fans feel at least a trace of frustration, even after the events of the past few days. They are candidates again for the title, sure, but by now they might have had the whole thing wrapped up.
PHOTO: Liverpool’s Albert Riera celebrates after scoring against Aston Villa at Anfield, March 22, 2009. REUTERS/Phil Noble