Siao Mates Jul 22

No more excuses, Liverpool need to win the Premier League title this season


 

So last season, English Premier League teams dominated the two major European competitions. 

 

And unless you have a very short memory or you support Manchester United, you’d remember that Liverpool are champions of Europe.

 

The European Champions League Final match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool could have passed off as the FA Cup Final while the Europa League Final between Chelsea and Arsenal could well have been a more prestigious edition of the League Cup Final held in an unfamiliar but interesting venue called Baku in Azerbaijan. 

 

And Liverpool being crowned European Champions at the Wanda Metropolitano in the Spanish administrative capital would thus be a clear indication that the balance of power has shifted sharply to England.

 

 

Neymar, if he has any real ambition, should be pleading to be let in to Anfield to play with Mo Salah and gang, and Lionel Messi should consider spending the twilight of his career among Manchester City’s reserves.

 

In the space between the last time Liverpool won the domestic league title and the closest they’ve ever come to winning the Premier League, they have won the European Champions League twice – once in 2005 in Istanbul against AC Milan, coming back from three goals down in the first half to level at full time before winning on penalties after extra time, and then last season against Spurs. There was, of course, that dramatic encounter with Barcelona along the way to their latest European crown. 

 

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There are some – particularly Manchester United fans – who considered Liverpool lucky to have been able to overturn a three-goal first-leg deficit but if you watched the two legs of that epic semi-final fixture again, you’d see the 3-0 scoreline of the first-leg flattered Barcelona whereas they were well and truly murdered at Anfield. Bear in mind, too, that the Liverpool side that handed Barcelona their 4-0 massacre did not have Mo Salah or Roberto Firmino.

 

Yet why does it remain the ultimate ambition of so many a footballer to wear the jersey of either Real Madrid or rivals Barcelona?

 

Perhaps Liverpool need to put an end to its drought of domestic league titles before they can lay any legitimate claim to be champions of anything. Scoring 97 points and coming in second in a very exciting season is not a record anyone should be proud of having. They need to do one better this season – they need to finish ahead of Manchester City in the Premier League, which would almost certainly guarantee them the title. 

 

 

Manchester City, meanwhile, need to win the Champions League if they desire the adulation of the global fan and the respect of the top-class footballer. Aside from Chelsea, they are the only English club which can compete with the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona financially. But whereas Real Madrid have won Europe’s pre-eminent club competition 13 times and Barcelona, five, Manchester City has never made it to the final of the Uefa Champions League nor the European Cup before that. If City focuses on that big European title, it may improve Liverpool’s chances of a first league title in three decades ever so slightly.

 

So here’s what, as a football neutral (I love the English Premier League but I've really only ever cared for a team that’s currently ranked 178 of 211 teams in Fifa though I’m not naming names today), I hope for this season. In the Premier League, at the expense of annoying the many people I love who support Manchester United, I will be hoping that Liverpool finally break their domestic league jinx, while in the Champions League, the English club I will back will be Manchester City, and I’ll be doing this along with the grand total of approximately seven City fans who were supporting the club before 2011.