Following Manchester City’s dominant display in last season’s addition of the EPL, winning the title by a clear 19 points and romping their way to a record-shattering 100 points, 18 consecutive wins, 32 total wins and 106 goals scored, many could have been forgiven for assuming that they would go on to do the same this season, and for the seasons coming. After all, they are led by Pep Guardiola, have an immensely star-studded squad and have a wealthy oil magnate to back them and their ambitions. While they are on pace to crack 98 points and once again put on a dominant showing, one team has stood up to the challenge.
Liverpool opened the season with a bang, on top of setting records across the board for points and wins by Christmas, gaining themselves as much as a 9-point lead going into the turn of the year. City looked weak, having lost games against Crystal Palace and Leicester City, while Liverpool just kept on winning, blowing the race wide open and having people believe that Liverpool were finally going to break their nearly three decades long drought.
Liverpool do possess a strong squad, bolstered by the additions of Fabinho, Xherdan Shaqiri and Alisson, while also getting a full pre-season out of Virgil van Dijk. All of this is in addition to the blistering front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, and the ever-growing full back combination of Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold. Basically, they have a really great team, so when Jurgen Klopp’s men pounced to a big lead in the title race early, many thought they would do it. This was before they faced Manchester City at the Etihad, where they subsequently lost 2-1, following a goal-line clearance from John Stones that was mere millimetres away from getting Liverpool any points from the Etihad. This win reduced the gap to 7 points and gave City all of the momentum they needed.
From there, they kept winning, and winning, and winning some more. Liverpool slumped, and suffered a series of draws to enter the back-half of the season. They were holding on for dear life to their title lead, until a drab 0-0 draw to Everton at Goodison Park allowed City to overtake them in the race by a singular point. What followed has been nothing short of extraordinary. Neither team has lost, each team has kept winning and keeping this race and each team’s position on the table after each week the same. If Liverpool were to win on a Saturday, then City would win on the Sunday and retain their spot at the top. It has been nothing short of exceptional.
What makes this title race so astounding is the sheer brilliance of the two teams. Each team scores at will and plays with so much energy that their opposition can’t help but feel suffocated. Both teams have already cracked over 90 points, something that has never been done before. If both of them win their matches this week, then City finish the season on 98 points, while Liverpool finish on 97 points. Incredible. You cannot help but feel for Liverpool, as they have done everything they could, and have only lost one game all season, that 2-1 defeat to City at the Etihad. Liverpool will likely have 97 points, 1 loss all season and still not win the title. How cruel football is. All of this as well, while reaching another Champions League final.
Liverpool do still have a challenge ahead, before the Champions League final. Wolverhampton are no joke as we have seen, picking off every top 6 side they can set their sights on. The game is at Anfield, which helps, but do not underestimate Wolves, they will bring their everything especially if they get a say in who wins the title. Liverpool will need to win to have any hope, as City have Brighton, albeit away, whom have been horrendous in this back half of the season, barely escaping relegation. Whatever happens, it’ll be unmissable action.
We have simply seen the two best teams in England going at it for a whole season, and it’s been nothing short of spectacular. Liverpool may fall short, and unless they can beat whatever result City get on Sunday, they will. But you cannot fault them, it’s been an incredible run to watch from both teams. Mo Salah’s and Vincent Kompany’s rockets against Chelsea and Leicester, Aguero’s goal against Burnley that barely crossed over the line, Virgil van Dijk turning into a human brick wall, or even Raheem Sterling’s fight against racism. The whole season from these two teams has been immense, and no football fan can wait till Sunday to see who finally gets the spoils after the end of it all. It’s sure to be one of the best finishes we’ve seen in a long time.