Liverpool v Tottenham: Pictures
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So high are the standards at the summit of the Premier League at present that drawing matches simply will not suffice any more. On Saturday night, in slipping to a 1-1 stalemate with Spurs, Liverpool may well have handed Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City an unassailable advantage in this season’s title race – something the Spaniard didn’t see coming, but perhaps should have.
City are closing in on yet another Premier League title – their fourth in just five years – after beating Newcastle with relative ease on Sunday. Liverpool’s uncharacteristic slip-up against Tottenham on Saturday gave City the advantage in the race, and proved the Champions League finalists just don’t know how to win a league title.
After City themselves nearly dropped two points on Merseyside, to Everton back in February, Guardiola warned that to win the Premier League – considered by many to be the toughest league in the world – you had to be as close to perfect as possible. Back then, the Spaniard was adamant it would be City’s results which would ultimately determine the outcome of the title race, asserting that Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool would be too good to finish the campaign with anything but an unblemished record.
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“If you want to be champions in the Premier League against this rival – Liverpool are not going to drop points – you have to do a job in nearly all the games,” he said. “I don’t know how it is going to finish, but we are going to try.
“Every game will be an incredibly tough battle and we have to face every game knowing if we drop points, it will be difficult to be champions.”
However, that hasn’t proven to be the case. In this high stakes game of who will be the first to blink, it was Liverpool who let their guard down, allowing Tottenham to capitalise and snatch a point to dent the Reds’ title hopes and quadruple aspirations.
When the going gets tough, you need your players to be constantly near-perfect, something City have exhibited time and time again through the years. Liverpool were worthy champions in the 2019-20 season and have been sensational in the same time, but there’s a clear reason they have one Premier League title since Guardiola’s arrival compared to City’s three (soon to be four).
Though Guardiola’s prediction has been proven wrong, on this occasion, he will be more than happy that is the case. Back in February, the Spaniard confessed that dropping points would leave City with an almighty challenge to become champions, however, it is in fact Liverpool who have been left in dire need of a miracle.
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