The way Liverpool snatched a win from the Merseyside Derby last Monday inspired a great deal of confidence entering a congested period of fixtures. The late winner, scored by Sadio Mané in the 94th minute, came after a physical, deadlocked contest that appeared headed for a goalless draw.
It was the type of victory squads of the past couple of seasons might not have achieved. Afterward, former Reds defender Didi Hamann called the turn of events a key moment in the team’s pursuit of a Premier League title.
“Three points in the Merseyside derby is always important – but to snatch it in stoppage time will give the club a huge morale boost,” Hamann said (via The Echo). “Liverpool have to win these tight games and Sadio Mane’s goal could be a defining moment come May. They’ve dropped points against Bournemouth and West Ham, and if they want to stay in contention those are the games they need to be winning.
“Jurgen Klopp’s side need to learn how to win even when they’re not firing on all cylinders.”
While Chelsea have jumped out to one of the largest midseason title advantages in recent memory, Hamann insists there’s still hope for Liverpool. He said as long as the Reds remain within range of the leaders, they maintain a reasonable chance of winning the league.
“Antonio Conte’s men are certainly not uncatchable,” Hamann said. “Conte has tweaked his formation and since then they’ve been flying ... But they’re not the finished product, and they’re not unbeatable. Chelsea won’t win the next 11 games on the spin that’s for certain.”
Hamann added: “If Liverpool can put a run together and stay within touching distance, they have a live chance as the season wears on.”