Martin Tyler delights fans with claim Liverpool may need ‘F1 race director’ to seal title

Southampton v Liverpool: Match in pictures

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Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler claimed that Liverpool fans ‘would have needed an F1 race director’ on the final day of the Premier League season had they drawn to Southampton at St. Mary’s – alluding to FIA chief Michael Masi’s controversial decision in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last year.

The Reds ran out eventual 2-1 winners against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men despite going 1-0 down early on. A loss would have given Manchester City the title prior to the last game of the season, whilst a draw would have put them three points behind the Mancunians but with a seven-worse goal difference.

They feared for the worst when Nathan Redmond’s deflected strike put the home side 1-0 up, although goals from former Saints loanee Takumi Minamino and central defender Joel Matip turned the game on its head. But with the game at 1-1, commentator Tyler understood the damage a draw would do to Liverpool’s title hopes. And in a jibe at former FIA director Masi, the Sky legend claimed they would need a ‘race director’, poking fun at the decision to allow Max Verstappen to win the 2021 World Drivers’ Championship.

“If Liverpool draw, next week you’d have to be a F1 race director to get them a title,” Tyler quipped on air. Verstappen would go onto win his first title in extremely dubious circumstances in Abu Dhabi in December after being level on points with Lewis Hamilton before the race.

With Hamilton 10 seconds ahead, it seemed he was going to win a record-eighth Drivers’ Championship in the United Arab Emirates. But a deployed safety car allowed Verstappen to pit, close the gap on the Mercedes star and give himself a tiny lifeline to lift the trophy.

However, he was allowed to unlap the cars in the middle of himself and Hamilton, and with fresh tyres the championship was a formality. Liverpool’s win puts them just one point behind City with one game to go, although they will concede yet another title to Pep Guardiola’s men if the league leaders beat Aston Villa on Sunday.

There were surprised fans worldwide when Jurgen Klopp named a weakened team ahead of just two remaining games this season – but Sky pundit Jamie Carragher detailed why he had done so with the Champions League on the horizon. “I wouldn’t say that his head is not on the Premier League, but Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp both Know they have more chance of winning the Champions League final than they do the Premier League,” Carragher said.

“The quick turnaround and the players that came off with knocks, or that played 120 minutes, you look at that team and I mentioned it last night, that is exactly what I expected and if I was in Jurgen Klopp’s position. I would have done exactly the same.

“He has still got some firepower off the bench, but it will make it a much tougher game of course it will, but the situation he is in, he will not want injuries to affect this weekend or the Champions League final a week on Saturday.”

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