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Sunday, 4 March 2012

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish left cursing his side's luck as top-four position rapidly fades

With even Robin van Persie admitting that Arsenal had “nicked” a 2-1 victory with his winning volley, two minutes into stoppage time at the end of a game dominated by the home side, Dalglish’s assertion that fortune had deserted his players held at least some truth.

But to suggest that the primary objective of Liverpool’s season - Champions League qualification - is now in the balance because luck has not been wearing a red shirt in recent months is little more than a diversionary tactic, aimed at deflecting inquisitive eyes from an uncomfortable reality.

If Liverpool are forced to endure a third successive campaign without Champions League football next season, bad luck will have nothing to do with it.

As Van Persie moved Arsenal 10 points clear of Dalglish’s team with his 31st goal of the season, he left Liverpool nursing a home record of four victories and eight draws in 13 games this term.

They have dropped 13 points at Anfield, leading goalscorers Craig Bellamy and Luis Suárez have netted just six goals apiece, four penalties have been missed in the league and, although Premier League statistics show Liverpool have struck the woodwork 21 times this season, that surely points towards poor finishing rather than ill luck?

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