Liverpool were praying for a late Aston Villa goal as their Premier League dreams slipped away on Sunday afternoon.
It looked at one point as though the league title was there for the taking when Manchester City astonishingly found themselves 2-0 down against the Villans at the Etihad Stadium.
Goals from Matty Cash and Philippe Coutinho had left the door ajar for Liverpool, who were drawing 1-1 with Wolverhampton Wanderers at the time, to remarkably sneak into top spot.
Liverpool left to rely on Villa
However, it just wasn’t to be, because although Liverpool eventually took the lead against Wolves courtesy of strikes from Mohamed Salah and Andrew Robertson, City produced a comeback of their own.
In truly bonkers scenes at the Etihad, the Citizens avoided catastrophe thanks to Ilkay Gundogan’s brace and Rodri’s strike within the space of just five second-half minutes.
It was a stunning turnaround that slammed the door in Liverpool’s face and meant that their only hopes of winning a second Premier League title once again laid in the hands of Steven Gerrard.
Given all the drama that had already taken place amongst the final day chaos, you wouldn’t have put it past the ‘pure Barclays’ of the situation to produce a dramatic equaliser from Villa.
Liverpool fans ‘scammed’ into celebrating
In fact, you might have thought that it actually happened if you were sat in Anfield because there appeared to be a false rumour going around that Villa had indeed brought the game back to 3-3.
Viewers will have noticed that there was unbridled joy amongst Liverpool fans in the final 10 minutes of the game despite the fact that, in reality, nothing had changed at the Etihad.
Tim Spiers of The Athletic confirmed the phenomena on Twitter by posting: “Anfield goes completely and utterly nuts thinking Villa have made it 3-3. Dunno where that came from. Someone’s let off a flare in the Kop as well.”
How did it happen? Nobody knows, but the footage of pure joy spreading around the four corners of Anfield for essentially no reason at all has understandably gone viral and you can check it out below:
Someone scammed Anfield that Aston Villa made it 3-3 and Anfield went crazy 😭😭😭— Janty (@CFC_Janty) May 22, 2022
Ain’t no way someone scammed the Liverpool fans at Anfield that Aston Villa made it 3-3 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭— GoatSZN (@UTDxGoat) May 22, 2022
Well that’s awkward…
While we might never know how the false celebrations started erupting around Anfield, it’s not hard to imagine how a ripple effect of that nature could easily spread amongst supporters.
Whether it was a prankster trying to start a Mexican wave of cheers or someone accidentally spreading false news amongst the people around them, it’s easy to see how the message could spread like wildfire.
You can even hear in the voices of Sky Sports’ commentary team an element of doubt as they witnessed behaviour from the Liverpool fans that ran contrary to the information they had.
In the end, though, the reality of the situation was inescapable and the thousands of Kopites who were cheering must quickly have realised that their expressions of joy were sadly misguided.
There was no Villa equaliser and as such, nothing that they could do was enough to prevent City getting their hands on a fourth Premier League title in five years. Football can be a cruel game sometimes.