The numbers may not look good for Liverpool’s top four chances, but a upset of Chelsea on Sunday paired with another week of struggles for Manchester United, and everybody would be talking about the race for the top four being on again. It may be a long shot, particularly given Liverpool’s record against Chelsea under Brendan Rodgers, but Adam Lallana at least isn’t giving up hope.
"It’s not over yet," the midfielder insisted when asked if the players had given up on the Champions League places. "We can still finish in the top four, but we need to take maximum points now. We’ll keep fighting right to the end. We all know what can happen. United have some tough games to play and I am sure they will drop more points, [so] we have to put pressure on United by going to Stamford Bridge and getting three points."
Everything would have been so much easier had Liverpool turned in better performances against Hull City and West Brom. Instead, it was a pair of matches where the squad looked to have given up on the season—and perhaps on their manager. With no goals scored and one point, Liverpool limped out of April. And at the time, it did look as though it wouldn’t have mattered if they’d won. But United too were stumbling.
A better result for Liverpool in either of those matches and today nobody doubts there’s a race for the top four. A better result in both and Liverpool are level or better with their rebuilding rivals. Instead, they now need to earn all three points at Stamford Bridge against England’s champions-elect to keep even the faintest of top four hopes alive—and they need United to continue to drop points, too.
"We all knew last week was a big week, and it was disappointing to only get four points out of the games against West Brom, Hull, and QPR," said Lallana. "We would have been right on their toes, in not ahead of United, if we had performed better. But we still have a chance and everyone believes fourth place is possible. We have to concentrate on ourselves and look to take maximum points from our three remaining matches."