Sunday, June 26, 2022

What Liverpool need to skip Man City and other Premier League title permutations

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Liverpool’s quadruple endeavors stem from Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa doing them a favor against Manchester City

Twice since Sergio Aguero’s stoppage-time winner a decade ago, City have won the league on the final day – and both times at Liverpool’s expense.

The Premier League title race is likely to be played out until the last day of the season and Manchester City could beat Liverpool again.

In 2014, Aguero was also there to help City beat West Ham on the final day and move up the league by two points. And in 2019 it was a point difference between the two clubs en route to the final day. Liverpool did their job in defeating Wolves but Aguero scored the opener in City’s 4-1 win over Brighton.

There is no longer a talismanic Argentine in City’s forward line, but they still hold the keys to their own destiny in a title race that has pitted two of arguably the best teams the Premier League has ever seen.

It could all be over if Liverpool lose their game against Southampton on Tuesday. But that’s probably going on the wire.

City’s draw with West Ham is the lifeline Liverpool need to get back in this race as we head towards the final weekend of the season. But they still have a monumental challenge ahead of them.

Liverpool need to recover from Saturday’s grueling two-hour FA Cup final win over Chelsea in time for Tuesday’s showdown with Southampton. The trip to St Mary’s will be the Reds’ chance to move a point behind City.

But Guardiola’s men not only have a four-point lead over Liverpool, they also boast a crucial +7 goal difference.

Therefore, the task is not just to win on the south coast, but to win well. The Saints are four games without a win, have nothing left to play for this season and lost 4-0 at Anfield in November. Could we see another pummeling here?

Assuming Liverpool win, the final day of the season title race will be decided next Sunday.

Liverpool host Wolves who gave Klopp’s troops a rough time at Molineux ahead of Christmas. City, meanwhile, welcome Aston Villa to the Etihad and are aware they were also tested by the Midlands side in December.

If Liverpool beat Southampton, those teams can only finish level on points if the Reds draw against Wolves and City lose to Villa next Sunday. Goal difference might not even matter here.

Instead, Liverpool need Steven Gerrard’s mansion to do them a favor in the same way David Moyes’ West Ham City held back.

The Premier League trophy is expected to circle Warrington in a helicopter next Sunday. Whether it goes east or west is still unclear.

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