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Liverpool may suffer from mental fatigue with five HUGE matches to come in the space of just 19 days

The talk was typically upbeat and just to be expected. There was no award of the title, no indication that they felt his career was over.

Liverpool may have dropped Premier League points at Anfield for the first time in six months – Brighton, on October 30, had been the last team to walk away with something to show for their efforts – but it was still believed the title could be achieved.

‘We tried until the end,’ stressed Fabinho, the influential midfielder. “We know that if we lose points in the fight against Man City, it might cost us the title. We didn’t win but there were positive things and we’re still alive. It’s not easy to play every three days but we’re still fighting.”

Liverpool's draw with Tottenham was the first time they had dropped points at home in 2022

Liverpool’s draw with Tottenham was the first time they had dropped points at home in 2022

Jurgen Klopp’s team spirit is beyond question, but there were moments during an absorbing game with Tottenham that rightly ended with shared spoils when you started to wonder what they have left in the tank.

This is not a fitness question. Heavy legs and sore muscles can be revived and Liverpool’s sports science department will physically support the team for the next 19 days and five big games. The question here is whether mental fatigue will become a problem.

Draw with Antonio Conte’s superbly trained side, but so did Manchester City scoring twice in added time on Sunday, to significantly improve their goal difference. There was a time when it seemed like Liverpool had a hand on City’s shoulders, now they’re a bit out of his league.

What impact will that have? Liverpool may have been on a run that looks like it came from a PlayStation game, but there has been nothing robotic about how it was achieved. It has come with a huge emotional investment, the kind that takes its toll.

Manager Jurgen Klopp has important selection decisions to make in the coming weeks.

Manager Jurgen Klopp has important selection decisions to make in the coming weeks.

Mohamed Salah had a frustrating night against Spurs as he struggled to lead from the front

Mohamed Salah had a frustrating night against Spurs as he struggled to lead from the front

So how does Klopp go about tackling it? Does he continue with his ‘A’ team at Villa Park on Tuesday (Mo Salah’s forward, Sadio Mane and Luis Diaz, Fabinho’s midfield, Jordan Henderson and Thiago) knowing they need four goals to get back to the top of the list? desk?

Or does he make a series of changes, knowing another failure to win, and you really shouldn’t underestimate how determined Steven Gerrard will be to rouse Villa against his boyhood club, and the title will almost certainly be lost?

Another consequence is what happens if Liverpool run out in Birmingham without reward: does that jeopardize their hopes of winning the FA Cup for the first time in 15 years? It was no wonder that Klopp looked a little exhausted as he tried to make sense of it all.

“We will try to prepare as soon as possible and be ready for Aston Villa, which will also be difficult,” Klopp said. ‘We have to deal with it, but we will. The guys are absolutely in the frame of mind they should be, very disappointed, but that’s fine.

Manchester City have held firm at the top of the table despite Liverpool's remarkable form

Manchester City have held firm at the top of the table despite Liverpool’s remarkable form

It’s a curious situation, trying to find criticism on a team that have been unbeaten in the Premier League since December and have taken 42 points from their last 48, but the standards City have set mean there is no room for error.

If City go ahead and finish the job, they could regard it as their biggest domestic triumph to withstand the assault Liverpool have launched. The two teams scored more points in 2018-19, but the ferocity of this duel and the standards set have been higher.

This is a shootout like the one between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus at Turnberry for the Open in 1977 and there is no doubt that these two sides will still be talked about 40 years from now, even if Watson and Nicklaus’ mutual respect isn’t there, as evidenced by Pep Guardiola’s children’s comments on Sunday.

Klopp himself said some unnecessary things on Saturday when he grimaced about Tottenham’s approach. Conte, it should be noted, was within his rights to set up shop as he did and the tactics almost worked wonders.

Tottenham deserved the advantage that Son Heung-min secured and their effort was summed up in an outstanding defense, led by Cristian Romero -his night work was characterized by a penalty area tackle on Díaz- and Ben Davies, who threw himself in front of a Salah shot. .

“We were determined not to give in,” Davies said. Even the goal, conceding a deflected goal is sometimes hard to take, especially when you know we’re going to suffer a little bit in these games. You know you’re going to have to defend and I think we did pretty well.”

Tottenham host Arsenal on Thursday in a crucial game in the race to finish in the top four.

Tottenham host Arsenal on Thursday in a crucial game in the race to finish in the top four.

They did it and they will face Arsenal now with the feeling of believing that they can steal the last place in the Champions League. Conte will ensure that tactically his side are up to the competition and his presence on the touchline can still make the difference.

“It’s been building up to this for a while,” Davies said. “Since it was postponed (in January) we were looking at when this game would come because we knew it would be important in the context of the season. We know what we have to do when entering. There is no way to hide from that.

Everything is on the line and as tired as the Tottenham and Liverpool players are, they have to keep going. No choice.

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