Hansen: Liverpool need to learn lessons from 1989
Arsenal's last-gasp win in 1989 and Sergio Agüero’s heroics in 2012 prove that the title race is never over until the final whistle blows.
Alan Hansen has warned Liverpool to keep fighting until the very end of the title race with 1989 as an example of what can happen on the final day.
Manchester City’s victory at Goodison Park yesterday has Manuel Pellegrini’s side in the driving seat with a superior goal difference to the Reds, but Hansen says it is key that his former side keep up their end of the bargain in case City slip up.
Hansen recalls only too well the final day drama in 1989 when Arsenal claimed an unlikely 2-0 win at Anfield to snatch the title in the most dramatic of circumstances and says the current crop should bear this in mind.
“You only have to look at that remarkable night on Merseyside 25 years ago to realise that anything can happen,” he wrote in his column in the Daily Telegraph.
“In 1989 we faced Arsenal on the final day of the season with a phenomenal home record and I don’t think even our opponents had any conviction they could win the title at Anfield.”
“We had just won the FA Cup final and were on a real high while Arsenal had to win 2-0, with most of the country just expecting Liverpool to win the league.
“What happened was one of the most incredible and dramatic nights of my career. In the last minute Michael Thomas scored the second goal for Arsenal to clinch the title and that just shows there is no such thing as a lost cause.”
City’s final two games are at the Etihad against Aston Villa and West Ham United and while they are now overwhelming favourites to pick up the six points needed, their last title success is another reminder of the drama that can occur on the final day.
“Sergio Agüero’s goal in the 95th minute for City two years ago was another classic example that the title is never yours until the medal is in your hands.”
“One minute you can be down and out and then it can all swing around in seconds and you are back in pole position.”
“Liverpool face Crystal Palace tonight ultimately needing a win to maintain the pressure on City and, quite simply, they have got to remove any doubts and believe they can still win the league.”
Hansen also believes that City’s biggest weakness lies in their defence and may well provide opportunities to both Villa and West Ham to pick something up from the final two matches.
“Any ardent City supporter would agree that City’s weakness is their defence and it has been the same story all season.”
“Just look at the goal they conceded on Saturday, when Romelu Lukaku was allowed to score, it was defensive suicide.”
“Martin Demichelis has had a good five or six weeks but on the left side they play Gael Clichy one week and Aleksandar Kolarov the next.
“There is no continuity there at all.”