In a sign of how quickly fortunes can change in the Premier League, Liverpool find themselves seven points adrift of a Champion’s League spot after suffering their second consecutive defeat on Saturday, the most recent a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Arsenal.
For much of 2015 Liverpool have looked like one of the better teams in England, going unbeaten into the calendar year until their lost to Manchester United just before the international break. And yet despite that loss to Manchester United, fourth placed still seemed a distant possibility granted they came out and got a result against Arsenal.
Now with back-to-back losses to their closest rivals in the chase for Champion’s League football, even Brendan Rodgers admits finishing in the top four now seems a distant possibility. “We require a lot of luck for us to win all the games, but we can still do it but it’s highly unlikely,” remarked Rodgers after his side’s latest defeat.
However unlikely it may be, Liverpool still have 21 points to play during the stretch run of the EPL season. Given their recent form, it’s anyone’s guess how close they get to their number, but it is interesting to note that Brendan Rodgers set a target of 74 points earlier in the season as the total amount of points his team would need to get to ensure Champion’s League football.
21 points would give Liverpool 75 points to finish the season, but with Arsenal and Manchester United distancing themselves in the race for the top four, it remains to be seen if Rodgers’ benchmark will be enough.
In the lead up to Saturday’s match, Rodgers called their match against Arsenal a “must-perform” game, and while today’s performance left much to be desired, every game from here on out transforms from “must-perform” to must win.