Liverpool title bid left in tatters after Crystal Palace draw
Liverpool shed tears of despair after blowing a 3-0 lead with 11 minutes remaining to draw 3-3 at Crystal Palace in an astonishing Premier League match on Monday which almost certainly ended their hopes of a first title for 24 years.sports Updated: May 07, 2014 00:10 IST
Liverpool shed tears of despair after blowing a 3-0 lead with 11 minutes remaining to draw 3-3 at Crystal Palace in an astonishing Premier League match on Monday which almost certainly ended their hopes of a first title for 24 years.
Liverpool looked to be coasting to victory at Selhurst Park and a three-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the table after goals by Joe Allen, Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez.
But Palace stormed back with three late strikes, substitute Dwight Gayle scoring twice after Damien Delaney brought Palace back in the game with a screamer in the 79th minute.
Liverpool's title hopes, already receding after last week's loss to Chelsea, looked finished and it was little wonder that Suarez was left sobbing after the final whistle and had to be helped off the pitch by an equally teary-eyed Steven Gerrard.
Brendan Rodgers's men have 81 points while City have 80 and a game in hand.
"The title race is over now, Manchester City will go on and win it. We had to win this match tonight to keep the pressure on City. I think they will go on and win the two games and be champions," Rodgers told reporters.
"For 75 minutes it was an outstanding performance. It's very disappointing to concede those three goals. It was really poor defending. Poor decision-making. We should have managed the game much better when we were 3-0 up."
Liverpool's remaining game is at home to Newcastle United.
Goals from Allen after 18 minutes, Sturridge on 53 and newly-crowned Footballer of the Year Suarez gave Liverpool a commanding position.
Allen put Liverpool ahead when he was left unmarked following a Gerrard corner and headed in for his first Premier League goal for the club in his 50th league appearance.
Sturridge doubled the score with a low deflected shot eight minutes into the second half and Suarez increased his season tally to 31 goals after playing a swift one-two with Raheem Sterling to take Liverpool's Premier League haul to 99 goals for the campaign.
But as has happened so often this season, Liverpool's defending cost them.
They continued to pour forward in a bid to further trim Manchester City's goal difference advantage but paid a heavy price for leaving themselves exposed to the counter-attack.
"We thought we could play Roy of the Rovers football and make the goal difference up but tonight was about winning the game. When we had the structure and discipline we scored goals and created chances."