The weekend’s results were a blow to the Reds’ title hopes, but perhaps not the fatal blow they felt at the time.
Before the weekend, Liverpool were just one point back of Manchester City in the Premier League title race and had a one goal advantage in goal differential, the first tiebreak should the two sides end the season level on points.
After the weekend, with Liverpool drawing Spurs and City obliterating Newcastle to the tune of 5-0, the math changed to three points behind and four back on goal differential. It was not, then, a good weekend for the Reds’ title hopes.
“You can take it exactly like it was, we drew and they won and the goal differential changed as well,” Klopp said. “But if we had been six points behind and they lost and we won it would be exactly the same but we would be flying.
“We wouldn’t be able to wait until Aston Villa and try to get the next three and what’s cool is we can decide for ourselves how we see it. There are facts but we are allowed to ignore them and so I try to help the boys to see it like me.”
Before the weekend, Liverpool needed City to drop two points in one of their final four games. After, they need them to drop three—and probably to make up a little more in goal differential than one City loss would result in.
It’s less likely, perhaps, but it’s not a radically different situation. It’s still a situation that counts on the other team dropping points, on results outside of their control. And a situation that requires the Reds now to win out.
“So now we go to Aston Villa,” Klopp added of the situation he, his players, and the fans find themselves in. “It doesn’t make the Aston Villa game easier, it just gives you a nicer perspective, and I think that’s important as well.”