The FA Cup is one of the competitions in which all teams want to win. It’s a cup that Liverpool have won seven times, with the last one being won in the Gerrard Cup in 2006. However, 2014 would not be the year in which Liverpool would have their hands around the trophy once again as Arsenal avenged their 5-1 defeat Sunday with a 2-1 victory at the Emirates.
Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho has said a lot about how Liverpool are the “dark horses” to win the Premier League title this season with his main reason being that they don’t have to worry about Champions League fixtures and having to save players for those matches. Mourinho may have blown this reason over proportion, but he does have a point; which is why Liverpool being knocked out of the FA Cup is a blessing in disguise.
With Liverpool out of the tournament, the only fixtures that the team will have to worry about will be Premier League fixtures. With games against the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur still remaining, the Reds will need all the focus they can muster to not stumble against these opponents.
While a Champions League position will always be the main goal for this season, it’s undeniable that Liverpool can prove to be title contenders. The Reds are only 4 points off the league leaders Chelsea and there are still 12 games remaining this season.
Without the FA Cup serving as a distraction, the likes of Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge can rest. There’s no excuses now for this Liverpool squad, the weight of expectation will be on Brendan Rodgers and his squad. While Rodgers will insist that they are not title contenders, the rest of the league think differently.
All those years of Liverpool fans saying, “This is the year!” and this is the first time since the 08-09 season where it actually looked like it could be their season. If Liverpool can buckle down on defense and continue their scoring spree, this just yet may be their year.
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