Gary Neville believes that Liverpool will have to lead the Premier League at the end of the season if they want to win a first title in 29 years.
And the former Manchester United defender also explained the "key difference" between Jurgen Klopp's men and Man City's title rivals.
Liverpool returned to the top with a 3-0 win over Bournemouth at Anfield on Saturday.
Neville believes the Reds are now "avoidable targets" after losing their performance levels in recent months.
See how Liverpool players voted against Bournemouth HERE
"A few months ago I said that if Liverpool were to win the title, it is necessary to have an advantage in the last games of the season," he said.
"If you are three or four points ahead with three or five games left, they have good chances, however, if they are behind the City or even level, I think it will be the City title, since they have the experience of keeping their nerve.
"The key now is not just winning, but how are you doing? If you score but you actually played well, then you should not worry and we saw with City.
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"Generally when they lose they still played well, it's just that the opposition goalkeeper had a worldie or a striker hit a stunner.
"When Liverpool dropped points recently, it's because they're not good enough like them, they recently started allowing their opponents to score on goal, and then to reach avoidable targets – it was not the case for most of the campaign.
"This is a key difference currently between the two parties".
Neville believes this was the week when things "became real" for Liverpool – and he says the pressure is now on Klopp's side to respond.
He told Sky Sports: "This week really brought the title race to life.
"I heard we talked about it for months, but this week is when it really became a race with everything on the line.
"I thought it was nonsense before the match between Manchester City and Liverpool, when people were saying that if Liverpool had won, the title race was over, the result and now this week proves it.
"This has been a great week of swing and if Manchester City can complete the week by beating Chelsea, they will feel so strong.
"This is the week that became a reality for Liverpool, and until Christmas they were still treated as losers, in January the pressure of the leadership started to make their way through the well, but now all this attention is becoming intense and very real.
"I'm really enjoying seeing how all this opens up now and it's so exciting and intriguing to watch and find out what happens next."