Man City v Liverpool: The best ever English title race?

LONDON, May 10, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – Manchester City and Liverpool’s
enthralling battle for the Premier League title will come to a climax on
Sunday when City visit Brighton, while Wolves travel to Anfield.

Defending champions City have the upper hand as they lead by a point
knowing they only have to match Liverpool’s result to become the first side
in a decade to retain the title.

Liverpool have not lifted the league since 1990, but could not have done
much more to finally end that wait after posting a club record 94 points with
one game to spare.

Incredibly the Reds could post the third highest points tally ever in the
Premier League with victory against Wolves and still miss out.

“Both teams deserve the title. But it can be just one. The team that is
going to lose can’t have regrets because they have given everything,” said
City boss Pep Guardiola.

Statistically this is the greatest Premier League title race of all-time,
but AFP Sports looks at what rivals it for drama from the history books.
2011/12 – Aguero snatches the title

It is rare for the title to be won on the final day, even rarer to do it in
the final minute of stoppage time in the final game.

Should City seal the title on Sunday it will be the club’s fourth in eight
years, a run that was started by Sergio Aguero’s dramatic winner as they came
from 2-1 down in injury time to beat Queens Park Rangers 3-2 on the day and
Manchester United to the title on goal difference.

City had also seemed down and out just weeks before as defeat at Arsenal
saw United open up an eight-point lead with six games to go.

However, Roberto Mancini’s men won all six, including a 1-0 victory over
United, while the Red Devils lost at Wigan and drew 4-4 at home to Everton to
hand Aguero the chance to snatch it away. 1998/99 – United edge Arsenal to
claim treble

The most memorable season in Manchester United’s history could have turned
out very differently but for a late season slip up by Arsenal at Leeds.

United, Arsenal and Chelsea battled for superiority throughout the season
with Alex Ferguson’s men failing to win any of the four games against their
title rivals.

However, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s winner at Elland Road to beat Arsenal in
the penultimate game of the season meant United claimed the title on the
final day with victory over Tottenham before also going on to lift the FA Cup
and Champions League. 1988/89 – Arsenal silence Anfield

Prior to Aguero’s winner in 2012, the most dramatic conclusion to a title
race had no rival as Arsenal snatched the league from Liverpool’s grasp in
1988/89.

The reason the top two were even facing off in the final game of the season
was because the fixture was rescheduled after the horror that saw 96
Liverpool fans killed at Hillsborough during their FA Cup semi-final with
Nottingham Forest.

However, on the field Liverpool had responded resolutely, winning seven of
their next eight games to lift the FA Cup and move three points ahead of
Arsenal before the end of season showdown.

The Gunners not only needed to win at fortress Anfield but do so by two
clear goals.

And against the odds they did so as Michael Thomas sealed a 2-0 win in
stoppage time. 1995/96 – Man Utd break Newcastle hearts

Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle were the Premier League’s great entertainers and
seemed destined to deliver the title to Tyneside as they amassed a 12-point
lead by January.

However, as they collapsed, winning just twice in eight games between
February and April, Ferguson’s United charged, winning 13 of their last 15
games with Eric Cantona back from his eight-month ban for kicking a fan the
previous season to the fore.

Newcastle’s frustration was summed up in an explosive television interview
given by Keegan in which snapped back at Ferguson’s claims that other sides
tried harder against Manchester United than Newcastle.

“I will love it if we beat them. Love it,” said Keegan, but the tide had
turned and United pulled away to win the title by four points. 1985/86 –
Dalglish leads Liverpool to double

Liverpool edged a battle for superiority on Merseyside in both the league
and the FA Cup as Kenny Dalglish scored the winning goal in the title race in
his first season as player-manager.

Everton led their local rivals by 12 points after victory at Anfield in
late February, but Liverpool went on a storming run to win 11 and draw one of
their last 12 games to claim the title by two points.

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