Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists it would be “insane” to give up hope in the title race.
The 1-1 draw against Tottenham, their first time they had not won in the league at Anfield since October, left them needing Manchester City to drop three points before the end of the season to stand a chance of deposing Pep Guardiola’s reigning Premier League champions.
But that still requires Liverpool to have a perfect finish to the campaign, a situation they have been living with since their current unbeaten run began at the turn of the year.
Since only their second league defeat of the season against Leicester at the end of December, Klopp’s side have won all but three of their matches.
There was a sense of deflation around Anfield after they failed to produce a winner in the final 16 minutes, once Luis Diaz’s deflected shot had cancelled out Son Heung-min’s 20th league goal of the season.
But Klopp said they had to rely on City slipping up even before they kicked off against Spurs and so the situation had not altered significantly and it was important they bounced back at Aston Villa on Tuesday.
“If we would have won it wouldn’t have increased the probability to win against Aston Villa, not at all, so then maybe there it would’ve happened. That’s how it is,” said the Liverpool manager.
“Imagine City would lose at one point – I can’t see it or imagine that – and because we don’t believe any more, we then cannot use it. That would be really insane.
“The boys are absolutely in the mood they should be now – very disappointed. That’s fine.
“But you overcome things and that’s not a general problem. If, in the moment when we get the first little stone thrown in our way, we stop doing it – I wouldn’t like that too much, to be honest.
“It’s just we have to show resilience – we will.”
Even though the chances of an unprecedented quadruple – the Carabao Cup winners have an FA Cup final next weekend and a Champions League final at the end of the month to look forward to – have diminished with the Spurs result, defender Virgil Van Dijk insists it should not detract from their achievements so far.
“We’re disappointed that we dropped points here but so far we are having quite a good season,” the Netherlands captain told BT Sport.
“We are all human beings and there is a reason that we feel this way when we drop points, especially with the wins that we had lately in a row.
“But it is what it is and now we have to recover and focus on Villa.”