Three goals in nine dark minutes

LIVERPOOL FC conceded three goals in nine of the darkest minutes in the club's history to draw 3-all with Crystal Palace and all but squander its first English Premier League title since 1990.

Seventh and eighth the past two seasons, Liverpool had bounced back from nowhere in 2013/14 largely thanks to Luis Suarez's 30-goal haul.

Three games from the end and destiny was in their own hands. A fairytale beckoned in the twilight of 33-year-old Steven Gerrard's career.

Now, after a 2-0 loss to Chelsea followed by the Selhurst Park debacle on Tuesday, the Merseysiders are at the mercy of Manchester City, which flogged Aston Villa 4-0 on Wednesday. A draw against mid-tablers West Ham at Etihad Stadium on Sunday will be enough to keep Liverpool, at home to Newcastle, out of reach.

BILL NORTH'S CALL

LET'S look at the other side of the ledger - the crowning moment for Mile Jedinak in Crystal Palace's most successful season in the Premier League era.

Let's face it, as an Eagles fan since they allowed an impressionable eight-year-old to dream when they pushed Manchester United to a replay in the 1990 FA Cup final, the unfashionable South Londoners have finally produced an act of relevance on the greater scale.

Never mind the fact that, as hot pre-season favourite to drop back to the League Championship, Crystal Palace not only survived relegation for the first time at their fifth attempt in the top tier but will finish 11th, and never mind the season-long heroic defensive display in which they conceded four less goals than Liverpool.

Never mind the effort of influential captain and stoic defensive midfielder Jedinak, who was one of just two players to play every single minute of the EPL season, has made the most tackles (131) and intercepts (137) in the league and in the process stamped pole position for the Socceroos leadership.

Consider the fact lowly Crystal Palace finally made an impact, spoiled Gerrard's fairytale and made a grown man cry.

MATTHEW McINERNEY'S CALL

WHAT A brilliant choke to cap an unforgettable Premier League season for Liverpool.

It started with a 95,000-strong rendition of You'll Never Walk Alone at the MCG, continued with their run atop the Premier League table and was punctuated by the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.

Their first top-flight title since 1989-90 beckoned, until the fateful clash with Chelsea almost two weeks ago that turned a historic season into one of the all-time classic chokes.

Now, I'll admit to enjoying the size, sound and glorious nature of the bandwagon, but seeing Liverpool choke is on par with seeing England fail in the Ashes, and St George-Illawarra struggle in the NRL. It completes my sporting universe - my sport scape, if you will.

When Manchester City thump West Ham, and Luis Suarez continues his recent form with the waterworks, I'll be ready to continue circulating the footage of Liverpool's celebration from when they beat Manchester City 3-2 a few weeks back.

How upsetting it must be to be a Liverpool fan, knowing they cleared space in the cabinet and forgot they had a few games left.

Bit like Souths last year ...

WORLD CUP

Who should captain the Socceroos at the 2014 FIFA World Cup?

This poll ended on 10 May 2014.

Current Results

Mile Jedinak

75%

Tim Cahill

25%

Lucas Neill

0%

Matt McKay

0%

Other

0%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

SOCCEROOS coach Ange Postecoglou names his preliminary 30-man squad on Wednesday ahead of next month's FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

He will condense it down to 27 following Australia's friendly with South Africa on May 26 in Sydney before announcing the final 23-man squad on June 2.

It is confirmed Lucas Neill will not be included next week. So the question lingers: who will captain the Socceroos into the firing line of 2010 champions Spain, runners up Netherlands and South American giants Chile in Group B?

Will Mile Jedinak get the armband in the hope he replicates his efforts for EPL over-achiever Crystal Palace or will inspirational veteran Tim Cahill get his chance to lead his nation?



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