Given the form and standing of the two clubs involved, anything other than a Manchester City victory over local rivals United on Wednesday was always unlikely. Not that Liverpool and the clubs fans weren’t hoping that City would drop points.
More they weren’t expecting it, really. Weren’t counting on it. That City now haven’t may be disappointing, but it doesn’t especially change things for Liverpool. They just have to keep playing, keep winning games, and keep hoping. Same as before.
“It was the result I expected,” said Jürgen Klopp, speaking to reporters ahead of Liverpool’s game against Huddersfield. “United tried what they can, especially in the first half, but over the 90 minutes it was clear they can’t stand with City in this moment.”
Now, the hope will be that Burnley or Leicester—or, failing that, struggling Brighton on the final day of the season—will be able to do what United could not. On paper, at least, none of them will be favourites. On paper, United probably had the best chance.
But the games aren’t played on paper, and City have stumbled before against opponents a long way behind them in the table—including a loss already to Leicester in the first half of the season. While there are games, then, there is hope for the Reds.
That hope, though, requires Liverpool to keep winning just as much as it does for City to eventually, as the games run out, make a mistake. So Liverpool must win tomorrow, and that’s all there is to it, and that’s no different today than it was yesterday.
“If we win our next two games then the title will be decided on the final match day and that would be pretty special,” Klopp added. “That’s what we are concentrating on.”