As at the start of the year, Liverpool were clear favorites to win the English Premier League title. It seemed like after waiting for almost 29 years, this season was going to be their season finally.
The defensive combination of £75m defender Virgil van Dijk and £67m goalkeeper Alisson, and the attacking trio of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, had them 9 points clear of then second placed Tottenham and 10 points ahead of third placed Manchester City. They had not been beaten by any team in the League and were in second heaven.
However, that seemingly comfortable gap is now non-existent. After Manchester City ended their unbeaten run in January, Liverpool have been unable to pick themselves back up and get the blistering form they started the season with. A series of poor results has seen their lead cut short quite considerably and the title race swing wide open again.
After their largely unimpressive draw with Manchester United yesterday, Liverpool are now just one point ahead of second place Manchester City. And with the hot form City is currently on, maybe not for long.
Liverpool fans out there will no doubt be having a De javu feeling right now, seeing as this is not the first time that the club has come close to winning the title since the 1989/90 season. They have come close on two other occasions in the past.
— This Is Anfield (@thisisanfield) September 3, 2015
First in the 2008/09 season, Liverpool had a complete team. Solid defenders, outstanding midfielders and the hottest striker in the world then, they looked like getting the trophy was a done deal. But a run of poor results and some strong showing by Manchester United saw them finish the season four points behind Sir Alex Fergusson’s team. That Liverpool team was widely regarded as the best team NOT to win the Premier League title.
2013/14 Liverpool played the best football in my memory we nearly won the title it was unfortunate https://t.co/fkfdBWRqn3
— Monkey D. Luffy (@StrawHatShounen) December 26, 2017
Then again, in the 2013/14 season, Liverpool also came close to winning the League. They also had the player, the backing of the fans and some incredible results to make them comfortable champions that season. Unfortunately, an ill-timed Gerrard slip in a loss to Chelsea and a defensive meltdown away at Crystal Palace saw them lose valuable points and narrowly miss out on getting their hands on the title.
Only two teams in the last 10 years have been top of the Premier League at Christmas failed to win the title:
2008/09: 🔴 Liverpool
2013/14: 🔴 Liverpool
Third time is the charm… https://t.co/WBdCaeYW6F
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 21, 2018
With the above history and the fact that Liverpool is the only team in the last 11 years to have been on top of the League at Christmas, and yet lose the League title, there is just one question on everyone’s mind:
“Is Liverpool going to fail for the third time?”
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