Brendan Rodgers puts pressure on Man City in “far from over” title race

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The Premier League title race is far from over, according to Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, as he turned up the heat on title rivals Manchester City.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 13, 2014: Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers and Manchester City's manager Manuel Pellegrini during the Premiership match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)
Liverpool’s manager Brendan Rodgers and Manchester City‘s manager Manuel Pellegrini during the Premiership match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Rodgers saw his side knocked off the top of the table on Saturday as Man City fought hard for a 3-2 victory at Everton.

The result means that City go level on points (80) with Liverpool, with each team having two games left to play.

The Reds go to Crystal Palace on Monday night, before hosting Newcastle Utd on the final day of the season (Sunday, 11th May), whilst City are at home to Aston Villa on Wednesday, before the visit of West Ham at the weekend.

But as Rodgers prepares his players for the tough and unpredictable trip to Selhurst Park, he says the pressure is all on City.

“It is a tough ask for City,” the Northern Irishman is quoted in The Guardian as saying. “To play three games at this stage of the season that really, really matter is a real tough ask. Aston Villa are an incredible team on the counterattack and better away from home, and West Ham on their day can be a really difficult opponent.

Manchester City need to win all their games which means they will have won five games in a row and they have done that only once this season, so it will be a wee bit new for them. It is certainly not over by a long way. If we can win our two games then it could go a long way to deciding whether we finish top or not. But it is about concentrating on our game against Crystal Palace.

“City’s result [at Everton] won’t deflate us because we know we have to win against Palace no matter what. We know we have to win at Palace and win against Newcastle. That hasn’t changed and that is our focus.”

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Should both Liverpool and Man City win their remaining games, the title will be decided on goal difference. As it stands, City have a superior goal difference by nine goals.

“If there is any team that can score goals and turn it around it will be us,” Rodgers added. “There is no question. That will be our aim. No question about that. I have seen it before. Chelsea beat Wigan 8-0 in the last game of the season [in 2010, when Chelsea won the title]. I am not paying any disrespect to Newcastle at all but if there is a team that has shown it can score goals, it is us. We are not a 1-0 team. We showed that at the beginning of the season but what we have shown since is we can score goals.

Manchester City won the league on goals scored a couple of years ago. That’s why, when I came in here, I spoke about a team that could score goals because ultimately that is what it could come down to. We scored 47 goals in the first year I was here and now we have 96. That is what gives us the chance. We could sit and get the team to defend and not want to score but ultimately it’s the team that scores the goals that will win.”

Crystal Palace v Liverpool gets underway at 8pm on Monday night, and it’s live on Sky Sports 1 in the UK.

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