I’ve been watching the Premier League for over a decade and the final 15 minutes of Liverpool’s 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace are probably the most insane thing my eyes have ever seen from that league, save for Manchester City’s last-second title win on the final day of the season back in 2012. Liverpool went from trying to score as many goals as possible in a noble, if foolhardy, attempt to narrow the goal-differential gap with Manchester City to pissing away a chance at its first league title since 1989-90 in the blink of an eye.
Amazingly and seemingly out of nowhere, Crystal Palace rallied for three goals in about nine minutes — the final by Dwight Gayle in the 88th minute — to leave star Luis Suarez fighting back tears as he walked off the field.
The title is now City’s to lose heading into Sunday, assuming they beat Aston Villa on Wednesday with their game in hand. (Maybe the Prem will give us one more twist, given how this season has played out.)
Liverpool have never won a title in the Premier League era. Fans will look back to the second half Monday vs. Crystal Palace — and Steve Gerrard’s gaffe vs. Chelsea — as the moments the title slipped away from their grasp. That said, even if Liverpool won today the Reds would’ve needed Manchester City to drop points in one of its two remaining games or make up a massive goal difference. Still, that does little to diminish the pain and shock Monday’s result produced.
Eventually, after that initial shock wears off, Liverpool fans will be left wondering how on god’s green earth did they blow a 3-0 lead in the manner in which they did at Selhurst Park. Figure that manager Brendan Rodgers and the team’s defenders — namely Glen Johnson — will take the bulk of the blame. Blowing a three-goal lead with so much at stake is all but inexcusable, especially trying to chase goal difference when the gap was so large.
It’s hard to put it any better than my friend Nate doe on his excellent Liverpool blog, Oh You Beauty, calling the collapse: “A brilliant, beautiful disaster that you couldn’t script.”
Alternately, that is one hell of an effort by Tony Pulis and Crystal Palace considering they had nothing to play at 3-0 aside from “pride.”
Sports, man. Sometimes you have to envy those people who don’t let the games grown men play impact their daily lives.