Liverpool So Close To Europe...
After some great performances, and devestating lows, Liverpool approach May, and the final two games of the season, with a sense of cautious optimism, with the side within touching distance of qualifying for the Champions League for the first time since their group-stage exit in the 2009-10 season.
In March, Liverpool faced 6 games, 3 of which came against top-rated opposition, in the form of Arsenal, Everton and Manchester United. Before that though, were games against Hull, Rotherham and Stoke.
The Month started well for Liverpool, as goals from Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge sealed a hard-fought 2-1 win over Hull, continuing the Reds' unbeaten streak. Against Rotherham in the FA Cup 6th Round, a Raheem Sterling double, and a screamer from Iago Aspas sent the Reds through, keeping hopes of silverware alive.
Liverpool's next test was a tricky tie against Arsenal at the Emirates, but an early goal from Harry Wilson, followed by a goal either side of the break meant they saw Arsenal off in a 3-1 win. Luis Suarez was again the hero in the Merseyside derby, scoring twice as Liverpool won 2-1 at Anfield.
The fans were incredulous, their team so close to sealing European qualification, and having already dispatched 2 rivals, the game against Manchester United was a chance to send a clear message to the rest of the league, but it wasn't to be. Sahko put Liverpool ahead after 19 minutes, but a Robin Van Persie double brought Manchester United back into the game, and no matter how hard Liverpool tried, they could not find a way past David De Gea in the United goal.
And so ended the Unbeaten streak.
Many feared that result would signal the beginning of the end for Liverpool's hopes of Champions League football, but they bounced back against Aston Villa. Two goals from Coutinho, and a strike from Raheem Sterling saw the reds run out 3-1 winners and keep their challenge alive.
Against Fulham, Liverpool fell apart, conceding early on, they were never able to recover, and that trend continued in the FA Cup semi-final against Norwich. Out of the Cup, and staring at the prospect of missing out on Europe, Liverpool's fans were distraught.
A home tie against Sunderland represented an opportunity for Liverpool to get their campaign back on track, and the duly responded, Luis Suarez scoring twice, and Coutinho topping off a 3-1 victory. Against Cardiff, Coutinho's 76th minute strike had the fans in raptures; only two Cardiff goals could stop them now! In the 80th minute, Magnus Wolff Eikrem scored his first league goal, and Anfield fell silent. Those last ten minutes were probably the longest of Liverpool's season so far, but they held on to secure European Qualification.