Kevin Keegan "surprised" by Liverpool title challenge

Former Liverpool striker Kevin Keegan admits that he has been surprised by the club's title challenge this season.

Former Liverpool striker Kevin Keegan has admitted that he is "surprised" that the Reds are challenging for the Premier League title this season.

Brendan Rodgers's side went into the campaign aiming for a top four spot but have exceeded expectations and now sit top of the table with just five games remaining.

Liverpool's title rivals Manchester City and Chelsea both still have to go to Anfield this season, and Keegan believes that the Reds could end their 24-year wait for another league title if they get positive results in those two matches.

"I think most people have been a little bit surprised. I was asked at the start of the season whether Liverpool could finish in the top four and I said they had a chance but that it would be tough. Don't forget, at the start of the season they were without [Luis] Suarez so you thought that would be a major miss," Keegan told BBC Sport.

"As it happened they started off the season very well without him. He came back in and you thought: 'Will he be quite like he was and will there be any backlash from the suspension?' The answer was no. From the first second he got back on the pitch he has never stopped scoring goals. He has built up a great relationship with Daniel Sturridge.

"It has surprised me a little. I think what has helped them more than anything is the fact they got out of the other competitions. They have got both Chelsea and Manchester City to come to Liverpool, and if they win those two games the destiny of the title is in their own hands."

Keegan scored 100 goals in 323 games for Liverpool, winning three league titles, a European Cup, two UEFA Cups and an FA Cup.

Jordan Henderson of Liverpool clashes with Matthew Taylor of West Ham during the Barclays Premier League match at Upton Park on April 6, 2014
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
9Everton2376102538-1327
10Watford2375113342-926
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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