Liverpool’s loss is actually a gain

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FA Cup defeat will provide opportunity to target Champions League.

There is an old adage that to be knocked out of a cup competition actually frees a team up to focus on making a more substantial challenge for the league, it’s a statement that has been around for years and more often than not the club in question fails to do what they should.

However, in Liverpool’s case, they actually have something worth fighting for. Since Brendan Rodgers took over the club have made leaps and bounds from where they were in the dark last days of King Kenny’s reign and coming this close to securing a top four finish must be treated very seriously.

Making it into Europe’s most elite club competition would go a long way to helping the Reds get back to where they belong, the money it would bring in, coupled with the obvious lure of the competition to prospective new recruits would be monumental in keeping up with the rest of the pack.

Reds fans undoubtedly feel hard done by after the weekend’s events. A late foul on Luis Suarez should have been punished with a penalty, but Howard Webb didn’t have a good afternoon on both sides of the coin and missed a challenge made by Steven Gerrard which could have seen the talismanic skipper given his marching orders. Luckily, that wasn’t to be.

What Liverpool have lost in the short term, they will gain in the long view. Arsenal were the better side on Sunday; they did what they had to do by taking their chances and limiting Liverpool’s they were able to sneak away with a victory, and though it may hurt to finish a season without a trophy, the way things stand at the moment at the top of the Premier League it makes for a greater outcome to lose out now rather than at the end of May.

Mathematically Liverpool can still win the league as they currently sit five points off leaders Chelsea with 12 games to go. Brendan Rodgers may not think much of his side’s title chances, but five points it not a large deficit, especially as Arsenal have a brutal schedule coming up, meaning the Reds can make up ground fast.

But whether or not a title challenge ensues over the following weeks; Liverpool must realise that the cup exit is likely to aide their quest in maintaining their place in the top four.

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