When a structure collapses, its weak points become evident and unavoidable, and a new, better building is created with previous mistakes in mind. This is a simple concept honed by many in preschool block building, and it might just save Liverpool next year when they compete in the Champions League and hopefully push for the league title.
If the Reds had swept through Crystal Palace and Newcastle only for City to win out and take first place, we'd have arrived at the end of the season with a much different attitude from the one that has sprouted post-Palace debacle. Rather than the somewhat outraged stance people have taken over the last few days concerning Liverpool's shoddy defense and lack of squad depth, it's likely that there would have been a more resigned "oh well" sentiment as City inched towards silverware. The Gerrard slip would have been lamented, but given his contributions to the club, ultimately forgiven.
What won't be forgiven or forgotten as easily is throwing away a three goal lead at Selhurst Park, even though City would have likely won the title regardless of that result. And so in a twisted way it's a good thing that the collapse happened, because all of the structural issues at Liverpool that we've worried about for so long on this blog became painfully evident and for Brendan Rodgers, unavoidable, as the Reds near the summer transfer window. Look at it like this: if City beat West Ham, then what happened against Palace had no consequence on Liverpool's chance to win the title. Meanwhile, because of the Palace disaster, Rodgers will be pushed further to address major squad problems this summer that would have invariably reared their ugly heads next season.
Manchester United have fallen on their faces this year largely because the flaws in their team under Sir Alex Ferguson were left to fester towards the end of his reign, and it's finally caught up to them under the incompetency of David Moyes. Now the building has caved in and the inhabitants are suing (and we're down the block chuckling). Liverpool's issues are, in contrast to United's, recent enough to easily correct. There's still time for Rodgers to bulk up his team without overhauling almost everything like United may have to do, and hopefully the Palace game gives him some extra motivation to do so in a wholesome, meaningful way.
I think the Palace game will ultimately be remembered as the kick in the pants that pushes Liverpool to new heights - the attack is already fantastic, the midfield has developed nicely, but we need a coherent back line that can play well on a consistent basis. The current Liverpool team is far from the end product, and such a forceful reminder of that should spur Rodgers to act decisively over the summer so that Liverpool are ready to take the football world by storm once again next season and into the future.