Liverpool’s hopes of winning their first Premier League title were dealt a blow by Manchester United last weekend as once again they were unable to hold onto a lead at Old Trafford, which meant they dropped another two points in their chase of Chelsea at the top of the standings.
Things were looking good for the Reds when James Milner coolly slotted home past David De Gea from the penalty spot in the first half. Simon Mignolet was magnificent in keeping United out in the opening 45 minutes but Klopps’s men just could not find that second goal which would have sealed all three points.
An equaliser was always likely in the second half and it came with just six minutes left on the clock when Zlatan Ibrahimovic headed home for the hosts from an Antonio Valencia cross.
Liverpool are now 6-1 in the Premier League betting for the title as they have a seven-point deficit to try and make up. Chelsea top the market at 8-13 as they had no problems against Premier League champions Leicester in a comfortable 3-0 win at the King Power Stadium. Tottenham have won their last six consecutive games in the league and are available at 13/2, while Manchester City are out to 12/1 along with Arsenal after they went down 4-0 to Everton.
At the time of writing, Liverpool are still without a win in 2017. They led twice against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light but were held to a point against the Premier League strugglers. Plymouth took advantage of a number of changes made by Klopp in the third round of the FA Cup at Anfield which resulted in a goalless affair, while the Reds have a lot of work to do in their EFL Cup semi-final with Southampton after going down 1-0 in a very poor performance against the Saints in the first leg at St Mary’s.
Liverpool’s next home game in the league is against Swansea where they should be able to take maximum points against the Swans. They end the month against Chelsea at Anfield. Although it is still early to be talking about a six pointer, that is a huge game and one the Reds simply cannot afford to lose.
Both Liverpool and Chelsea should benefit when European football returns next month. Manchester City and Arsenal remain in the Champions League and both have tricky ties against Monaco and Bayern Munich respectively to worry about, while in the Europa League, Manchester United and Tottenham will have their eye on winning the competition.
Chelsea could be without the services of striker Diego Costa for some time as he has fallen out with manager Antonio Conte. Although the West London club did not miss him against Leicester, the former Atletico Madrid striker has scored 14 goals in the Premier League this season. The unrest will surely have unsettled the league leaders.
Liverpool must now try and go on a run over their next five-six games and hope that Chelsea slip up a couple of times if they are to close the gap at the top of the standings and keep their hopes of a league championship alive heading into the final stages of the campaign.