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Liverpool could nullify Manchester City and Chelsea’s £197.5 million Premier League title race lead


Liverpool could nullify Manchester City and Chelsea’s £197.5 million Premier League title race lead

When Chelsea last met Manchester City, the mood in the Liverpool camp was very different.

Jurgen Klopp’s side were battered and bruised as Thomas Tuchel and Pep Guardiola faced off in the Champions League final in Porto back in May, after a dismal title defence decimated by injury left them just grateful to have a place in Europe’s elite competition the following year.

Reds fans watched on enviously as two of their fiercest rivals fought it out for their beloved European Cup, hurting to see either side lift the famous trophy but hurting even more to know that their team had been nowhere near good enough to compete for such a prize.

Liverpool ended 30 years of agony by winning their first Premier League title in 2020, but just as they dared to dream of the Reds erecting a new bastion of invincibility, the 2020/21 season derailed them.

Was Klopp’s team’s time at the top truly over, with City and Chelsea serving as painful reminders of how far they had fallen behind?

Such concerns were, admittedly, unfounded, as Liverpool has since been bolstered by the return from injury of players such as Virgil van Dijk, Jordan Henderson, and Joel Matip.

Even with their walking wounded back in the fold, Reds fans were concerned about their position in the pecking order, and the summer transfer window did nothing to alleviate their concerns.

While Liverpool spent only £36 million to sign Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig, Manchester City spent a Premier League record £100 million to sign Jack Grealish, and Chelsea spent a club-record £97.5 million to re-sign Romelu Lukaku, highlighting exactly what the Reds were up against as they began the new season, seemingly already a step behind.

They didn’t need to be concerned, if the first few weeks of the season are any indication.

Klopp’s men have regained their mojo and are level at the top of the table with Chelsa, conceding just once and winning all but one of their matches, with only alphabetical order keeping them from first place.

After Tuchel’s side held Liverpool to a 1-1 draw, Man City are the next title contenders to face the European champions.


And, whereas the last time the two sides met, it was a lose-lose situation for the Reds, this time it appears that they will benefit.

Chelsea host Manchester City in the Saturday lunchtime kickoff, with Klopp’s men then traveling to Brentford that evening, knowing that they could be presented with the opportunity to lay down an early marker in the title race and claim top spot.

Sure, a win over the newly-promoted Bees would not necessarily be enough to leapfrog Tuchel’s side, but it would put us in a title race where the reigning champions would have drawn once and lost twice in their first six games.

City’s slow start to the season is not a new phenomenon, as they lost to Leicester City and drew with Leeds United and West Ham United in their first six games last season, after being held by Tottenham Hotspur and losing to Norwich City the year before.

But fighting back to win the title in a year when everyone is dropping points and top spot changes on a weekly basis, as was frequently the case in the first half of the Premier League season last year, is one thing. It’s a completely different story if a gap is already forming behind an unbeaten team at the top, as Liverpool discovered to their cost during their own title-winning season in 2019/2020.

Of course, it’s too early to rule Man City out of any title race, but a defeat at Stamford Bridge would leave them six points behind Chelsea with only six games played, while a win at Brentford would leave them the same distance behind the Reds.

If the teams draw at Stamford Bridge, Liverpool will have an early opportunity to seize top spot and build a two-point lead at the top of the table and a five-point lead over Manchester City.

Meanwhile, if Guardiola’s men win, the Reds will finish the day three points ahead of two of their closest title rivals.

It is far too early in the season to write off any team, with the destination of the Premier League trophy determined in the spring, not September.

But, with this year’s title race already tipped to be the tightest yet, with Manchester United joining the list of four sides with a realistic chance of winning the title, every point counts, even in the early stages of the season.

And, with City the next visitors to Anfield in Liverpool’s final match before the international break in October, Klopp’s men are preparing for a week that could easily end with them being the team to beat.



Liverpool could nullify Manchester City and Chelsea’s £197.5 million Premier League title race lead

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