Am I nervous? Of course. Do I think Liverpool Football Club can win the remaining five games left in the 2018/19 Premier League season? Uh, yes. Do I think Liverpool will win the Premier League for the first time since the league was formed 26 years ago? Now that is another matter. Why? Because Liverpool don’t control their own fate. Manchester City, the Pep Guardiola led juggernaut, is currently two points behind Liverpool but have one game in hand. Should Manchester City win all their remaining games, there is nothing Liverpool can do except finish in second place finishers, bereft of the title once again. So you’re saying there’s a chance?!
All it takes for that chance is for Manchester City to slip up. One draw, or loss, and Liverpool are in with a shout — if they have the bottle to remain in first place for the remainder of the season. Tomorrow, Sunday, April 14, is likely an important moment in deciding exactly who will win the Premier League title in 2018/19, because Liverpool face an old foe in Chelsea, the team responsible for “The Slip” and capitulation in Gerrard’s final run at glory. Without a doubt, Chelsea mark the biggest hurdle of quality players (no disrespect intended) remaining in the schedule. Should Liverpool lose, it’s likely over. Should Liverpool win, they remain poised to snatch the title if Manchester City falter.
Truth be told, there’s more going on than simply the Chelsea game. Some Reds look over the Manchester City run-in and eyeball the Manchester United game as a possible hurdle. Not me. You ask any self-respecting Man United fan who’d they’d rather see win the league, every one of them will tell you they don’t want Man City, but despise Liverpool. From where I sit, Manchester United will fold gracefully to City on Wednesday, April 24. The real test for Manchester City will be the week before when Spurs come to town. Hungry for a top-four finish, Spurs may likely be the strongest test of City’s resolve and Liverpool’s chance at daylight. Barring that game, things appears quite comfortable for City on the way to the finish line — much to Liverpool’s chagrin.
My final thought is on of what could have been. Liverpool had a ten-point lead during the holidays but clearly felt the pressure of that lead. No team in Premier League history has managed to piss away a ten-point lead and fail to win the league, since it’s inception. But Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp aren’t used to winning or being in the lead — they are used to being the underdog. Sure enough, they managed to leak points and piss away that lead, finally succumbing the unrelenting pressure of Manchester City. Why?
Honestly, I think Liverpool are running on emotion these days. They ebb and flow, like tidal water, and want it so badly, they can taste it. Meanwhile Man City quietly go about their business as professional winners, dispatching opponents with relative ease on their way to another title. The true difference between Liverpool and Man City is the mechanics of their respective journeys. One team, dressed in powder blue, coldly execute the plan. The second team, dressed in red, are driven by passion. Passion is certainly exciting but may not get it done. And I’ll be devastated.
Pressure is an interesting thing. Something people fold, other thrive. Liverpool continue to deal with the pressure after dispatching their most dangerous opponent, 2-0 on Sunday. Chelsea left without a repeat of five years ago and their hand in preventing Liverpool from lifting the Premier League trophy. Not this time. Salah scored a stunner from the top of the box to secure a two-goal lead. Chelsea had their chances almost immediately and Hazard continues to show his brilliance, thumping one off the post but when the dust cleared, Liverpool resume their position at the top of the league and hope Manchester City stumble just once in the final few games.