Skip to main content

Premier League: Liverpool blows title chance to leave City in charge

May 5, 2014 -- Updated 2226 GMT (0626 HKT)
Luis Suarez was left in tears after Liverpool frittered away a three-goal lead to draw 3-3 with Crystal Palace. The result means Manchester City is now favorite to win the Premier League title. Luis Suarez was left in tears after Liverpool frittered away a three-goal lead to draw 3-3 with Crystal Palace. The result means Manchester City is now favorite to win the Premier League title.
HIDE CAPTION
Title hopes gone?
Super Suarez
Allen's opener
Close shave
Crystal Palace vs Liverpool
Three and easy
Gayle force
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Liverpool held 3-3 by Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park
  • Liverpool led 3-0 before Palace fought back
  • Manchester City now in pole position to win title
  • City faces Aston Villa Wednesday

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- They left the field with their heads bowed.

Looks of shock, anguish, disbelief spread like wildfire. It mattered little. They had blown it.

As Liverpool's players walked off the turf at Selhurst Park, the remnants of their title challenge were left in tatters.

In the space of nine second half minutes, Liverpool's hopes of winning a first league crown in 24 years were obliterated by a Crystal Palace side which continues to produce wonders.

Leading 3-0 courtesy of goals from Joe Allen, Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez, Liverpool appeared perfectly set to take the title race down to the final day of the season.

But Palace hit back in style -- scoring three dramatic, late goals to snatch a point and leave Manchester City in pole position to win its second Premier League crown.

"It is 99 goals we have scored, which is a phenomenal achievement by the team -- but you have to defend," Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers told the BBC.

"It is no good scoring all those goals if you defend as we did tonight.

"There is no doubt. Manchester City will go on and win it. We needed to win to keep the pressure on going into the last game and we did not do that.

"You have to have that maturity to see it through and we did not do that. It was bitterly disappointing and I would expect Manchester City to go on and win their two home games.

"Congratulations to Crystal Palace, they produced a great fightback and punished our mistakes."

With 78 minutes of the contest having elapsed, Liverpool led 3-0 and was cruising to the top of the Premier League and a three point advantage.

Palace, a revelation under manager Tony Pulis, had rarely threatened and appeared to have run out of steam.

But what followed would have shocked even the most seasoned of football supporters as Liverpool imploded.

This was carnage -- carnage which would have been greeted with glee by those in the blue half of Manchester.

First, with 11 minutes remaining, Damien Delaney's deflected drive reduced the deficit.

Merely a consolation, or so one thought.

Sturridge's World Cup dream
Neymar: Protests must be peaceful

Two minutes later and Palace scored another, substitute Dwight Gayle firing home from 10-yards to reduce the arrears further.

Liverpool, whose defense has been fiercely criticized so often this season, appeared dazed and confused as if it had been hit with a right hook from a heavyweight boxer.

And with just two minutes of normal time remaining, Gayle lashed home an unlikely equalizer to break Liverpool hearts.

"It was obviously very frustrating," added Rodgers.

"For 75 minutes we were outstanding. We scored three goals, we created many chances, then we conceded with 12 minutes to go and we have to see the game out better than that.

"You cannot come here against a very good side, be the threat that we were and then defend as we did. It is criminal really.

"It is the fault of the team, coach, manager, everyone. We win and lose together. The supporters were brilliant for us. They helped us get in front but we ended up conceding three goals in the last 12 minutes. We win and lose together, so we will take the blame and move on."

It had been inconceivable that Liverpool would fail in such spectacular fashion following their impressive start to the second half.

Leading through Allen's first half header, Sturridge's deflected effort gave the visiting side a two-goal cushion before Suarez added a third in the 55th minute.

It looked as if Liverpool would simply continue to score at will, gradually chipping away at City's superior goal difference.

That it didn't owed much to the team's poor defending as much as Palace's grit and determination.

This result will surely allow City to take the crown -- but Rodgers is not giving up just yet.

He added: "We go top tonight as well, with 81 points with a week to go in the season and we are sat here devastated.

"We finished seventh last season. We are ahead of schedule. We have made great strides but I am certainly here to fight and win titles and I will be relentless in that.

"We are trying to build something sustainable. This season has shown we will be capable of doing that. Next year I believe we will make more strides forward and hopefully be up there challenging again."

Liverpool must now wait and see how Manchester City gets on against Aston Villa on Wednesday night.

Rodgers' side lead the table by one point but has played a game more.

Victory for City would leave it requiring victory in its final home game against West Ham to seal the title.

Juventus triumph

Meanwhile, in Italy, champion Juventus celebrated winning the title with a 1-0 victory over Atalanta.

Simone Padoin's 72nd minute strike was enough to give the home side all three points.

In the night's other game, Lazio was held to a 3-3 draw by Verona.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1123 GMT (1923 HKT)
After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1014 GMT (1814 HKT)
They do things differently at Sociedad Deportiva Eibar, up in the mist-cloaked valleys of the Basque country. And it is working.
December 10, 2014 -- Updated 1353 GMT (2153 HKT)
He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
How Real Madrid's new stadium will look
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
October 27, 2014 -- Updated 1309 GMT (2109 HKT)
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT)
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1622 GMT (0022 HKT)
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1819 GMT (0219 HKT)
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1247 GMT (2047 HKT)
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 2241 GMT (0641 HKT)
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
October 10, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.
ADVERTISEMENT