As a result of Manchester City defeating Liverpool at the start of January, there was an overwhelming feeling among football fans that the title race was about to reignite.
City’s superb form in the league and both domestic cups; 33 goals in 8 games, makes their odds of retaining their Premier League crown seem even more likely. Tuesday’s night trip to the North East to face 17th placed Newcastle was a great chance for City to continue their winning streak. As well as put further pressure on leaders Liverpool.
Once Sergio Aguero gave them the lead after only 25 seconds, City’s 9th straight win seemed inevitable. However, 2 second-half goals from Newcastle saw Guardiola’s team suffer their first league defeat since Boxing Day. Meanwhile, Newcastle climbed to 14th in the table.
The defeat left Manchester City 4 points behind Liverpool. Liverpool’s draw at Leicester saw that lead increase to 5.
Based on form this season and the fact that their next 2 fixtures are against sides in the bottom half of the table. It seems likely that Liverpool will be leaders for the foreseeable future.
At the start of December, many saw Liverpool’s trip to Old Trafford in March as a chance for them to claim their first victory at Old Trafford since 2014. However, since Solskjaer took charge, there is a new swagger about Man United. Thanks in part, to their recent form seeing United remain undefeated with 8 wins out of 9. This sets up the North-West clash at Old Trafford in February to be a must-win game for Liverpool.
Looking to March and April. Liverpool face more tough tests, starting with a Merseyside derby at Goodison Park. Followed by the visit of London clubs Tottenham and Chelsea to Anfield. Both Spurs and Chelsea are involved in the race for the top 4 and both clubs will visit Anfield needing a win. Since Spurs and Chelsea drew at Anfield in the 2017/2018 seasons, they’ll be looking to leave with at least a point this time.
At this moment in time, it seems likely that Liverpool will win their first league title since 1990. However, Jurgen Klopp and his men can’t become complacent. Their most recent title charge in 2014 justifies this. As a loss and a draw in their final 3 league games cost them the title. With a defeat to Chelsea at Anfield sealing their fate, as Manchester City became the 2014 champions. This time around it seems history has the potential to repeat itself once again.