Following Tuesday night’s nil-nil draw at Chelsea there has been seemed something of an attempt to find positives in the result, to see it as a point earned rather than two dropped. It’s an outlook that might carry weight if Liverpool were being chased rather than chasing.
It also might carry more weight if the match hadn’t tilted so heavily in Chelsea’s favour—some xG models had Chelsea close to 2.5 expected goals while Liverpool was pegged by most as creating around a quarter of a goal’s worth of chances—that, if anything, it was a point stolen.
Still, with ten games left to play Liverpool’s top four hopes aren’t mathematically finished, even if it’s hard to see them overtaking Manchester United, Tottenham, and Brighton while getting to at least 65 points. For the players like many fans, though, it’s hope that matters.
“We have to believe that,” was Cody Gakpo’s response when asked about the club’s top four chances. “I think the spirit is there, we just have to stick together and give it a try. We have to stick together. Everyone knows how difficult it is but if we keep going, we can overcome it.
“I think if you see this game, we got a point here and it’s a step in the right direction and for me it is something to get some momentum again and start winning games again. We made a step in the right direction if you compare it to the last game, so we have to keep building on that.”
That last game was a 4-1 defeat at Manchester City that highlighted how much more the Reds have slipped this season than the sportwashing front for a human rights abusing petrostate they’ve been chasing for the past five years. And Tuesday wasn’t much better.
Still, even if Liverpool’s performance against Chelsea was far from enough to say they deserved a win—or likely even the draw and point they got—the result is the most important thing and, whether top four talk is realistic or not, the goal now has to be to find a way to build on it.
“I think we have a great squad and a lot of quality,” Gakpo added. “We have to show it again like we have in some games and then you see the gap is not that big. Unfortunately we also haven’t shown it in other games and we haven’t got the points, but we know what we are capable of.”