Both of Liverpool’s closest rivals, Chelsea and Manchester City, faltered when a win by each would have put more pressure on Brendon Rogers’ crack side. And both lost ground after contact with relegation candidates, Sunderland.
First to come unstuck were City who, facing an embarrassing loss to the log anchors, needed Black Cats goalkeeper Vito Mannone’s 88th minute blunder to save them the blushes. Sunderland were leading 2-1 with just two minutes to go, when Mannone fumbled Samir Nasri’s fierce strike into his own net.
It came soon after a 3-2 defeat to red-hot Liverpool, more of two points lost than one gained for City boss Manuel Pellegrini. He was still better than his Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho though. Chelsea suffered their first loss in 78 matches at Stamford Bridge under the mentorship of the Portuguese tactician, when they were stunned 2-1 by Sunderland.
Chelsea conceded a late penalty to hand Sunderland a crucial three points, Liverpool on-loan Italian striker, Fabio Borini slotting the spot-kick beyond Mark Schwarzer in the 82nd minute of the match.
Chelsea are set to face Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, in what many are labelling “The Title Decider”. Should The Reds win the tie, for which bookmakers have predicted a 3-0 victory for the home side, then Rogers would have done it and cemented his status as the best Liverpool manager in years.
Chelsea’s case is further weakened by their participation in an away UEFA Champions League semi-final against Spanish side, Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night. They could be tired against Rogers’ hard running and sharp-shooting Liverpool.
Saturday : Southampton Vs Everton; Swansea City Vs Aston Villa; West Bromwich Albion Vs West Ham United; Fulham Vs Hull City; Stoke City Vs Tottenham Hotspur;
Sunday: Manchester United Vs Norwich City; Sunderland Vs Cardiff City; Liverpool Vs Chelsea; Crystal Palace Vs Manchester City;
Monday: Arsenal Vs Newcastle UnitedPost published in: Football