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“Was this the night the dream died?” – Media divided over Liverpool’s title hopes

The watching media assessed a below-par Liverpool performance in their 1-1 draw at home to Tottenham, with their Premier League title hopes taking a big hit.

Jurgen Klopp‘s men dropped two precious points in their quest for title number 20 on Saturday evening, in a rare off-night for them.

In fairness, Liverpool still played well for large parts, but they looked jaded, too, falling behind to Son Heung-min’s effort.

Luis Diaz‘s equaliser set up a dramatic finale, but the Reds had to settle for a draw after failing to find a winner.

Here’s a look at how the media reacted to the draw.

 

It was hard not to feel like Liverpool’s title hopes are hanging by a thread…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 7, 2022: Liverpool's Luis Díaz scores the first equalising goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Goal‘s Neil Jones was certainly of that opinion:

“Was this the night the dream died for Liverpool?

“The Reds’ quadruple hopes are still alive, but only just after they blinked first in their battle of nerve at the top of the Premier League.

“This 1-1 draw with Tottenham sends them above Manchester City, but it felt more like a defeat, in truth.”

Oliver Holt of the Mail also thought it was a pivotal night in the quadruple chase:

“Maybe the quadruple was always an impossible dream. Maybe it was always an insane ambition foisted on this Liverpool team by others.

“But as it slipped away from Liverpool a little at Anfield, Jurgen Klopp’s side fought against the dying of it with every ounce of energy and every moment of fury and every bit of defiance they could muster.

[…]

“This was just a game too far for Liverpool, who looked low on energy and invention against a well-drilled, clever Spurs team for whom this draw was a fillip in their battle with Arsenal for a Champions League place.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 7, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp applauds the supporters after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This Is Anfield‘s James Nalton remained defiant:

“Liverpool are relying on results elsewhere if they are to have a chance of taking the Premier League title from Man City this season.

“There is no real obvious fixture where City will drop points, especially as the league is their only focus now having been knocked out of the Champions League, but anything can happen as other teams have their own fights to fight.

“Already a point behind City before kickoff, the league was already out of Liverpool’s hands anyway, it just feels even more so now.

“There are two cup finals to come, and there’s now no doubt every league game will need winning if they have to even have a chance of overtaking City, so these will be cup finals too.”

But Paul Gorst of the Liverpool Echo couldn’t feel happy about the Reds going top:

“They say all good things must come to an end. And while Liverpool’s 11-game winning run at home certainly has, the biggest question now is whether or not their Premier League titles hopes have.

“Only time will tell on that score, but it has handed back all the initiative and all the impetus to a Manchester City side who will likely believe their name is on the title if they emerge unscathed at home to Newcastle on Sunday afternoon.

“Rarely can going top of the Premier League in May have felt so deflating.”

 

It was a performance that never got fully got going…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 7, 2022: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Guardian‘s Andy Hunter felt Spurs were the dangerous opponent they always threatened to be:

“On paper, Spurs’ visit to Anfield appeared the most awkward assignment left for Liverpool in their pursuit of the Premier League title.

“It played out as such on the pitch. Klopp’s team started with an intensity and confidence that was also evident in the crowd following another momentous week for the club.

Andy Robertson, snapping in to dispossess Rodrigo Bentancur and set up a half chance for Sadio Mané inside the opening minute, typified the ferocity with which the Champions League finalists worked to regain possession.

“But Conte’s team weathered the initial storm and, as the Liverpool manager had predicted, the danger posed by ‘some of the best counter-attacking players in the world’ soon became apparent.”

Sam Wallace of the Telegraph praised Spurs’ approach at Anfield:

“If this is to be the night when the great revived title race of 2021-2022 finally lost one of its riders, then it will be hard for Liverpool to accept that a game they dominated could not quite be bent to their will in the way that so many have in recent years.

“The trademark comeback did materialise but Jurgen Klopp’s players could only manage to level a game they controlled on a fraught evening at Anfield.

“They threw everything at Tottenham Hotspur and all but one shot, that equaliser from Luis Diaz in the 74th minute, was thrown back at them – headed out, blocked, hacked away.

“This was a great Spurs performance in its own way, a cussed refusal to give in against the waves of pressure that came their way to earn a precious point in the race for fourth.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 7, 2022: Liverpool's Luis Díaz celebrates after scoring the first equalising goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Despite Liverpool’s issues, Diaz was again impressive, as pointed out by the Independent‘s Richard Jolly:

“Four days after changing the game in Villarreal, Diaz delivered another crucial intervention. This time it was as starter rather than substitute but, once again, Liverpool had trailed and they needed someone to alter the tide of the game.

“Their newest player obliged. He was the man of the match in the Carabao Cup final and his influence may yet help them win other competitions: for that, perhaps they can thank Tottenham.

“Had they not tried to sign the Colombian in January, Liverpool might not have fast-tracked their own move.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 7, 2022: Liverpool's Luis Díaz during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Finally, BBC Sport‘s Phil McNulty praised Liverpool’s effort levels, but lauded their stubborn opponents:

“Liverpool at least maintained their unbeaten Premier League record – which now stretches to 16 games, including 13 wins and three draws – but time will tell how damaging this failure to beat Spurs will be as the title race reaches its climax.

Jurgen Klopp‘s team have set magnificently high standards but it was inevitable they would not be able to find a way to win every time and they were up against a side brilliantly organised by visiting coach Antonio Conte.

“Liverpool swarmed over Spurs from the start but once the early storm blew over they could not find many clear openings through a resolute defence.”

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