The only time Anfield was flat on Sunday was when the Liverpool fans heard Manchester City had gone 3-1 up against Brighton.

That basically ended any hope the Reds had of winning the Premier League title, but none of the supporters I spoke to before Sunday’s game against Wolves really expected City to slip up anyway.

By the time it was over, the crowd was up again, saying ‘let’s lift the team for Madrid’. There is still another game to play this season, and clearly it is a massive one for the club.

That is the great thing about Liverpool’s situation now. Of course there was disappointment Jurgen Klopp’s side fell just short after pushing City so close, but it did not feel like a failure, or the end of the world.

The 29-year wait for a title goes on, but they still have next month’s Champions League final to look forward to and a bright future beyond that too.

Why I can’t see Liverpool falling away next season

You only have to look at how many points Liverpool got this season to see how good this team are.

I was co-commentating with Alan Green at Anfield on Sunday and afterwards our colleague Ian Dennis pointed out the Reds’ tally of 97 points would have been good enough to make them champions in 116 of the previous 119 seasons.

Liverpool also only lost one of their 38 games as they finished a point behind City – I won the title four times with them in the 1980s and we never got near that kind of record.

Last season they were 25 points behind Pep Guardiola’s side, so it shows the incredible progress they have made, and I can’t see them falling away next season.

Why am I so confident? Well, look at their mentality, and the way they have picked up so many points with late goals.

Look at their style of play and the way they have always been on the front foot home or away – or when they have been under pressure in the run-in.

Then there is their squad, and the quality and depth that has kept them challenging at the top for 10 months in the Premier League and has got them into their second successive Champions League final.

And of course, look at their manager and everything about him, from his man management to his tactics and the way he just understands everything about his club.

The last time Liverpool went close to the title, in 2014, the club was not in the same position of strength as it is now, on or off the pitch.

Everything is now the way it should be, but they are just short of a trophy at the moment. They have got the chance to put that right when they play Tottenham in Spain on 1 June.

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What could Liverpool have done differently?

Whatever happens against Spurs, I don’t think you could accuse Liverpool of underachieving this season.

When I look back at what they could have done differently in the title race, there is only really one game that springs to mind – their one defeat, which came against City at Etihad Stadium in January.

They had that great early chance at 0-0 when Sadio Mane hit the post and John Stones had to scramble his own clearance off the line, but City went on to win 2-1.

That was the moment for me. If Mane had scored then, I think they would have gone on to win the game and also the title – they would have opened up a 10-point lead that would have been hard to claw back.

Since then, they have not done too much wrong – clearly, because they have not lost since.

How can the Reds improve next year?

When you look at this season, you can praise both of the top two teams together. One of them has edged an unbelievably good title race, rather than the other failing and losing it somewhere.

That is why it is difficult to look through the Liverpool team and say they need to sign this player or that player to make sure it is a different story next year.

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They will need another left-back as back-up to Andy Robertson because Alberto Moreno is leaving in the summer, and Klopp cannot expect James Milner to play there regularly.

But it is not like the last couple of summers, when it was easy to identify what this team needs to improve it.

In 2017 it was a centre-half, and Virgil van Dijk arrived the following January, while in 2018 it was a goalkeeper, and Alisson was the answer.

Those problems have been solved, so primarily you are looking at adding depth in a few positions – at centre-half, or up front.

You might argue they don’t really need to desperately strengthen any one position, but I think it would be nice if they could get an attacking midfielder, of the sort they have not had since Philippe Coutinho left for Barcelona in January 2018.

A criticism I heard a lot, particularly earlier in the season, was that with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain sidelined, all of Liverpool’s midfielders were too similar, and not adept at opening up defences.

I am talking about someone with a bit more creativity, like Lyon’s Nabil Fekir, who they were going to buy last summer until the move fell through.

The way the season has gone, you could not say they have missed him, but in future they might need to have more ways to win games, especially against teams who just sit in.

Liverpool cannot ease off

On the evidence of the past few months, Liverpool can barely afford to draw a game next season if they are going to keep up with City – who have a total of 198 points from their past two campaigns.

That is why the Reds cannot rest and be too satisfied with their achievements, because they will have to improve further if they are going to challenge again.

As things stand, it is hard to see anyone else being in contention for the title next year.

I know the rest of the top six will all sign players in the summer, but looking at them now I don’t think they will be anywhere near City or Liverpool.

There is no quick-fix at Arsenal or Manchester United, and everything is up in the air at Chelsea about who their owner and manager will be.

For me, the only certainty at Stamford Bridge is that Eden Hazard will leav and, with their best player seemingly on his way out and a possible transfer ban looming, I cannot tip them to challenge.

That just leaves Tottenham, who have lost 13 league games this season compared to one by Liverpool and four by City.

Spurs finished 27 points off the top so they have a big gap to close, and they also have a doubt over the future of their manager.

Whether Mauricio Pochettino stays or goes could rely on them spending a lot of money – and I just don’t see it happening.

In contrast, everything is already in place for Liverpool to kick on. You just know City will be better under Pep Guardiola, but I am confident Klopp’s team will be stronger next time too.

Mark Lawrenson was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.