The Premier League top-four race is once again heating up thanks to Thiago Alcantara’s late strike, accompanied by Sadio Mane’s opener, and Leicester City’s dip in form. For the Foxes, it is a case of ‘Deja Vu’ after last season’s post lockdown collapse.
For Liverpool, however, this weekend signals hope once again. Hope that the kings of comebacks can make a miraculous recovery once again to secure a place in next season’s Champions League competition. With a game in hand, the Reds are six points away from Leicester City, who have three games remaining.
The task sounds easy for Leicester, right? Think again. In their last three games, Brendan Rodgers’ side face Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur. In a week where the two year anniversary of THAT Barcelona game arrived, Jurgen Klopp’s side needed to channel similar belief.
Premier League Top Four Race: Thiago Gives Liverpool Hope as Leicester City Enter Dangerous Territory
Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Man
Thiago Alcantara hasn’t had the easiest of rides since joining Liverpool. The injury against Everton, just when he looked likely to find his place in the Reds’ midfield, saw his form come to a crashing halt.
By the time he came back into the fold, Liverpool were more or less defenceless when it came to centre-backs. Fabinho was forced into central defence, forcing Thiago to adjust. Since the Brazilian has reappeared in midfield, however, Thiago has slowly but surely shown glimpses of his class.
And what better way to prove that than by scoring the goal to seal the three points in a must-win game? The Spaniard’s goal saw his side move to within six points of the top four of the Premier League. It was simply a case of ‘cometh the hour, cometh the man’ for Thiago.
His game is not about goals or assists; his impact, because of the type of player he is, often goes unnoticed. Against Southampton, he forced doubters to stand up and watch in the form of a well-struck, important goal.
Deja Vu for Leicester City?
With Manchester United, Chelsea and Spurs to come, Leicester will be frantically looking over their shoulders in no man’s land. No matter what, last season’s collapse will enter the minds of the players and staff. The worry will set in of Deja Vu – especially with the fixtures remaining.
From a Liverpool perspective, they’ll be desperate to take the Premier League top-four race to the final day; they’ll be desperate to use their 12th man and channel it to their advantage. Give the fans something to get behind and hope for, and they’ll respond by giving the players similar hope.
Premier League Top Four Race Far From Over
One thing this weekend has already told us is that the top four race is far from over. Liverpool, Leicester, West Ham, Spurs and perhaps even Everton will be competing for a place in that precious fourth spot.
If any side is to go on a convincing run, many will bet that side will be Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, who have so often overcome the odds. As for Leicester, off the back of a 4-2 loss against Newcastle United, they must respond in convincing fashion against Manchester United.
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