Liverpool may have lost control of their own destiny by losing to Chelsea, yet with two games to go for them and three for title rivals Manchester City, they are still better placed than they have ever been to break a 24-year title drought. It's a situation that has led to a strange mix of hope and disappointment for more than a few looking on.
One of those is Roy Evans, who managed the club in the early days of the Premier League. Evans had come up by way of the boot room, being plucked from an uninspiring playing career by Bill Shankly and working behind the scenes at Liverpool for the next twenty years before eventually succeeding Kenny Dalglish in 1991.
"Shanks would be saying now exactly the same as Brendan is," said Evans, comparing this season's title challenge to some of the ones he went through. "He’d be saying let’s win our two games and put City under pressure. City have not been perfect. They have to go to Everton and get a result and that’s not a foregone conclusion.
"Of course, some Everton fans will not want us to win, as we probably wouldn’t want them to in same situation. Maybe Everton can do a favour for themselves, and for us, as they still have a chance of the Champions League. Martinez will make sure they are up for it. We’ve got to be positive—it’s never over until it’s over."
Everton's top four hopes took a beating last weekend, with Arsenal defeating Newcastle while Everton lost to Southampton and fell four points back with just two to go. Still, with Everton facing City before Arsenal kick off, the Blues will head into their match thinking a win could see them enter the final week a mere point off the pace.
It's unlikely that Everton will make the top four—far less likely than that Liverpool will win the league—but the chance, and the hope, should still be there for their match against City. That in turn means that for Liverpool, the chance and the hope for an Everton result that hands them back control of their own title destiny will still be there, too.
It may not be where Liverpool would have wanted to be at this time last week, but the club are still better placed than they have ever been to win their first title in 24 years. And it isn't over until it's over.