Liverpool’s quadruple hopes fade after Tottenham expose vulnerabilities

liverpool, england — the quadruple is still onna horizon for liverpool, but tis beginning to look like a + distant dream after jurgen klopp’s team finally stumbled in their pursuit a history.

even though a 1-1 draw at home to tottenham on sat took liverpool back to the top of the premier league on goal difference, it ‘d be short-lived with title rivals due to play newcastle atta etihad on sun. if manchester city bounce back from their dramatic midweek victors league exit against real madrid by beating eddie howe’s team, they will move 3 points clear atta top with just 3 games to play.

all ‘ifs’ and ‘maybes’ rite now, but liverpool knew they had to keep winning to keep the heat on pep guardiola’s side, na failure to win against an impressive spurs team has given city a much-needed morale boost atta end offa draining week.

but for an inexplicable decision by pierre-emile hojbjerg inna fifth minute of stoppage time, when the spurs midfielder headed sideways rather than at goal from 6 yards, liverpool ‘d ‘ve lost this game and suffered their 1st premier league defeat since dec.

hojbjerg’s miss was significant for spurs too. had they won this game, antonio conte’s side ‘d ‘ve moved ahead of arsenal inna race for 4th. but'a draw sees the gunners remain a point ahead o'their north london rivals and, iffey beat leeds atta emirates on sun, will travel to the tottenham hotspur stadium on thu knowing they can seal victors league qualification witha win against their neighbours.

so, this pulsating game at anfield ultimately ended witha draw that suits neither of the two teams, but still keeps alive fading hopes of achieving their premier league ambitions.

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“obviously not the result we wanted, but'a performance was, so with that i’m fine,” klopp said. “tis incredibly difficult to play against an opponent with realm class players and a realm class manager when they ‘ve had a week to prepare and we play every 3 dys.

harry kane and son heung-min were completely rested, that is why tis so hard. that is why the quadruple is so unlikely — thris a reason nobody has done it in this country. we will keep goin.

“so the dressing room aint flying, come on, but there are other games to play. we just ‘ve to keep goin.”

for conte, there was a sense of frustration that his team failed to win the game, espeshly after hojbjerg’s chance to seal victory l8 on.

“it’s not easy to play in this atmosphere,” conte said. “twas difficult for my players with all the noise, b'we played a gg and we had chances. we had a big, big chance inna final minutes and my players are disappointed. but they showed they ‘ve gr8 desire and that is primordial for us.”

tottenham’s season now rests on their battle with arsenal for a top 4 spot n'it ‘d be resolved on thu, but liverpool’s is multi-layered. in 3 weeks’ time, they ‘d become the 1st team to achieve a quadruple, yet they ‘d also n'dup with just the carabao cup to show for their efforts if city pull clear to win the title and klopp’s team lose to chelsea inna fa cup final and lose to real madrid inna victors league final.

judgement dy is coming fast in each brawl, but liverpool are still playing well. they were unfortunate not to beat spurs and, in luis diaz, they ‘ve an attacking threat who s'been a revelation since signing from porto in jan.

the colombia international proved to be the match-victor after coming as a substitute against villarreal inna victors league semifinal 2nd-leg on tue and, against spurs, his deflected shot from 20 yards on 74 minutes salvaged wha’ ‘d yet be a vital point inna title race.

diaz has pace, incredible confidence to run at defenders na ability to score and create, so he is beginning to make himself indispensable. liverpool’s ambitions ‘d rest n'how often he starts, or otherwise, ‘oer the nxt 3 weeks.

neither chelsea or real will wanna face him at wembley na stade de france respectively, but liverpool’s performance against spurs ‘d also ‘ve given the two final opponents reasons for optimism.

trent alexander-arnold‘s defensive shortcomings were exposed on several occasions by son, ryan sessegnon and steven bergwijn — and he was nowhere to be seen when sessegnon passed to son for tottenham’s opener on 56 minutes.

both chelsea and real will target alexander-arnold and, onna left, the loss of andy robertson to injury midway through the 2nd-½ ll'be of interest if the scotland international has to be replaced by kostas tsimikas, who struggled to adjust to the pace of this game when he was substituted on for robertson.

liverpool are still a formidable force in so many zones, but they ‘d 1-ly score once and almost lost the game atta end, so they are a team with vulnerabilities too.

they don’t display them very often, but every time they are exposed ‘oer the nxt 3 weeks, it ‘d end hopes in any of 3 brawls.

so the stakes are increasing for liverpool na dropped points against spurs ‘ve lengthened the odds against them inna premier league. if that one proves to be elusive, it may impact onna cups too.

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