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Liverpool’s return to form proves that the title battle is a two-horse race

Liverpool’s 3-1 victory at Tottenham on Thursday was monstrous and backed up what I’ve been saying all season.

That only two sides are capable of winning the title this time round —my old club and Manchester City.

It was a performance which showed Jurgen Klopp’s men had had their wobble but put it behind them.

And the sort of result that highlighted the difference between the wannabes — Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea — and the real deals.

Both Liverpool and City have players who have proved they can win titles and big trophies.

And in Liverpool’s case, you don’t go from being Premier League, European and world champions one year to being rubbish the next as some people have said.

Football is about how quickly you can come back from a dip and Klopp’s men have shown they can do it quickly.

Liverpool got back to winning ways

With no one typifying that more than Thursday’s man-of-the-match Trent Alexander-Arnold, which was so pleasing.

I heard my old team-mate Jamie Carragher, someone I respect greatly, talking about Alexander-Arnold in the past couple of weeks and saying he looked like he could do with a call from Steven Gerrard for a chat to help him get back to his best.

I disagreed, though, because, as someone who played a big part in Liverpool’s success in recent seasons, there’s nothing Stevie G, Lionel Messi or the good Lord himself could tell Alexander-Arnold that he doesn’t already know.

Which, namely, is that when you’re not playing well, you have to go back to basics of finding someone in a red shirt with a pass, you have to defend properly and not take risks.

All players will go through tough times and he has for two or three games but, lo and behold, if you do the basics right in training then all of a sudden, like a miracle, you’re back.

Trent Alexander-Arnold looked back to his best
Trent Alexander-Arnold looked back to his best

You will build up enough confidence in yourself and start to implement a few risks into your game again.

Which is exactly what he looked to have done on Thursday when he started to show again what he is — the world’s best right-back.

It’s a simple game and his display was a reminder that he knows exactly what it is to be a champion.

I know a lot of fans these days don’t like long-term forecasts, they make their minds up week on week.

But my job is to take a step back and when I look at squad depths, first teams, who’s injured, who’s in form and who isn’t, how many match-winners does a team have, then I see only Liverpool and City as capable of going on a 12 to 15-game unbeaten run.

When I look at those things, I see a City side who, right now, are 9/10, Liverpool are 8/10, Manchester United and Leicester are 7/10, and Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal are 6/10.

That’s why we will see the wheat separated from the chaff in the next 10 games with the rest dropping away and leaving us with a two-horse race.

And if one of the others is still there or thereabouts, I still won’t see anyone else winning it because the run-in for anyone in the top six is such a mental and physical minefield.

You think you’re going to go into it thinking everything is all right — ‘Oh, we’ve only got to win five games and we’ll be champions of England’.

But then it starts to dawn on you of how close you are and it plays havoc with your thoughts.

Two teams know how to deal with that, though, and that’s what ultimately will give them they edge they need in this strange old season.




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