Liverpool were beaten 3-1 at Highbury today and so can now finish no higher than fifth in the Premiership. Everton will now be playing in the Champions League next season.
Liverpool made it 11 defeats away, 14 in all in this season’s Premier League – and Benitez will be making big changes in the summer to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Liverpool’s defeats have all been close – today was only the second time in those 14 defeats that they lost by a margin of more than one. It was also the first time they’d conceded more than two.
The final league game for the Reds is at Anfield and takes place next weekend against Aston Villa.
Everton will be celebrating like they are Champions tonight, but Liverpool should pick themselves up and be proud of the fact that they’ve made it to the final of the competition everybody wants to be in. If they win the European Cup then there’s an outside chance they’ll be allowed into the competition next year.
According to reports, Liverpool’s run in this year’s competition has earned them twice the expected amount, so the financial aspects of being in the Champions League are not going to be as important as they could have been.
Losing 3-1 away to the team that finished second isn’t something for Liverpool to be ashamed of – especially when the third goal came as Liverpool were pushing for an equaliser. What Liverpool need to do next season is ensure that teams like Birmingham don’t do the double over them.
Of the four teams all fighting for Premiership survival next season, Liverpool managed to beat Norwich and West Brom twice, but lost one game each against both Southampton and Crystal Palace. Six points is the gap tonight between Liverpool and Everton – six points that wouldn’t be there if they’d won those games.
In Liverpool’s last six league games they have lost three, drawn two and won one. Five points out of eighteen is nowhere near good enough.
Liverpool’s success in Europe this season (so far) has shown us what Liverpool are capable of. The season has been Liverpool’s worse in our memory for injuries – but that’s still not enough of an excuse for the 14 defeats. Rafa Benitez will now take Liverpool to Istanbul and hopefully make it a season that’s in the history books for Liverpool for the right reasons. The players will then get a very short break before starting pre-season training – at which point some of those players will find themselves looking for new clubs.