Liverpool: Brendan Rodgers says Premier League title bid is over
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says his side's chance of winning the Premier League has gone after the 3-3 draw at Crystal Palace.
“We needed to win to keep the pressure on going into the last game and we did not do that”
The Reds blew a 3-0 lead at Selhurst Park and now top the table by a point from Manchester City, who have a game in hand and a superior goal difference.
"There is no doubt Manchester City will go on and win it," said Rodgers.
"We needed to win to keep the pressure on going into the last game and we did not do that."
Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was left in tears following the draw at Palace.
He was consoled by skipper Steven Gerrard, who put an arm around the stricken Uruguayan and waved away the television cameras.
Liverpool had looked on course for victory as goals from Joe Allen, Daniel Sturridge and Suarez gave them a 3-0 lead after 55 minutes.
Reds rue costly errors
- Liverpool have kept only one clean sheet in their last eight Premier League games
- The only other time they have thrown away a three-goal lead in the Premier League was in August 2000, when they drew 3-3 with Southampton
- Palace had only scored two goals in their previous five Premier League home games
That scoreline would have moved them three points clear of City, as well as reduce the latter's superior goal difference to plus six.
But Liverpool capitulated in the final 11 minutes as Damien Delaney reduced the deficit before substitute Dwight Gayle scored twice his second coming with two minutes to go.
The result means four points for City from their final two matches - at home to Aston Villa and West Ham - will all but seal the title.
"We were outstanding for 78 minutes," said Rodgers. "We got three goals and looked like we could get a few more, but to concede the three goals at the end was hugely disappointing.
"At half-time, we said that the most important thing was to win the game. It was not about Roy of the Rovers football to make up the goal difference, it was just about winning.
"We just did not manage the game at 3-0. We gave them a little sniff and they have some good players who can punish you. It is something we will improve on for next season."
Despite looking unlikely to end a 24-year wait for a league title, Liverpool have at least already secured a return to the Champions League.
What Liverpool need
The Reds require City to drop points in at least one of their last two games. If City win one and draw one of their last two games, Liverpool must beat Newcastle on Sunday and vastly improve their goal difference. If City draw both games, a win on Sunday will be enough for the Reds. If City lose both games, Liverpool will already have enough points if Chelsea do not beat Cardiff.
They have not been involved in Europe's elite club competition since 2009.
"I am incredibly proud and, when we have had time to reflect on this in the summer, we will see it has been an outstanding season for Liverpool," said Rodgers.
"It does not take away the pain of now but we will look where we need to improve and continue to get better. We have made great strides but I am certainly here to fight and win titles and I will be relentless in that.
"We are trying to build something sustainable. This season has shown we will be capable of doing that.
"Next year, I believe we will make more strides forward and hopefully we will be up there challenging again."
For Palace, the draw keeps them 11th in the table and continues their remarkable progress since Tony Pulis took over as manager in November with the club in the bottom three.