It may seem nonsensical that Arsenal could have contributed to their own downfall by defeating Liverpool 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium in the fifth-round of the FA Cup Sunday evening.
Revenge was in the air as Liverpool destroyed Arsenal 5-1 just a week prior to the FA Cup encounter. That was the match that counted and deep down Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger knows that.
But Arsenal dared not lose this one, even though the Reds came to the Emirates and dominated a fortunate yet efficiently clinical home side. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers' blood will be boiling at a needless cup defeat to a league title rival, but once the emotional pain has blown over, he will instill it into his red men that there are only twelve games left of the season.
Twelve league games and only one focus: to effectively throw everything into a Premier League victory or, at the least, a Champions League spot.
Take any league in the world other than La Liga in Spain and Liverpool would be high in pole position. But this is England and home to the best league in the world, meaning that four teams are in for the title.
With just 12 games to go - 13 for Manchester City - the hounds are about to be set loose approaching the final few hurdles. No team dare stumble and fall flat. Liverpool have played out of their skin this season. Apart from a few away dropped points and a memorable home loss to a then-rampant Southampton, the Reds have managed and maintained what many could not or would not want to believe.
With home games to come against Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham, the Reds have this league in their hands and it is only Anfield defeats to these teams that will spoil the red Merseyside party.
It is evidently clear that Liverpool do have a team to challenge and go all the way. Perhaps even one or two acquisitions during the upcoming transfer windows will cement Liverpool's credentials as being a top player in English football again, a claim that has been impossible for the past two decades.
Brendan Rodgers seems to get the best out of his players and especially his youngsters. Raheem Sterling has demonstrated to all that he is ready for bigger things and the young Englishman will be a catalyst if the Reds are to carry on with their push.
The final few hurdles are up, and any team caught out tripping now will drop to the depths of disappointment and despondent Europa League football.
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