At this point last year, Liverpool had all but mathematically secured the Premier League title, running away with the league and breaking a thirty-year drought in the process. This year, things are a lot closer.
A month ago, Jürgen Klopp’s Reds were in first—but it was a close run thing. Now, they’re in fourth with Tottenham and Everton close on their heels. That means they need both better performances and results.
“It’s close,” Klopp acknowledged. “That makes it slightly different title race or race in general this year and we have to be ready 100%. In this business only results count but before you have a result you need performances.
“I know that, but the last performance [against Manchester United] was good even if we didn’t win—so for them they celebrated and for us it was not a good enough result. Now we have a chance to change that.”
Their nil-nil draw with United wasn’t a vintage performance, but after draws with Newcastle and West Brom along with a loss to Southampton in their previous games, it was at least a better performance underpinning it.
If Liverpool can build on that tonight against Burnley they will be favourites to get the victory they need to keep pace with the sides now ahead of them—but whatever room for error they had before is now gone.