Liverpool falls short
Liverpool fell agonisingly short of a first Premier League title since 1990 on Sunday, as they ended the campaign one point behind Manchester City on 97 points.
For just over 20 minutes in the first half of their game against the Wolves, Liverpool was ahead of its title rivals, who initially fell a goal down in their fixture at Brighton, but once they heard that Aymeric Laporte had headed City into the lead at 38 minutes, Liverpool fans must have thought the writing was on the wall. Despite a comfortable victory over the West Midlands side, Jürgen Klopp’s side was powerless to decide the destination of the title, which remains in Manchester.
For Liverpool, Sadio Mané, who has been in outstanding form for much of the season, was the match winner. He scored from close range at 18 minutes to send the home fans into wild jubilation. The news that Brighton had taken the lead against City produced an even bigger celebration, but City equalised almost immediately, and by half time, the league leaders were 2-1 ahead.
Liverpool once again had the better of the second half, and Mané added a second at 81 minutes to earn a share of the Premier League Golden Boot with teammate Mohamed Salah and Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. However, the title race was effectively over by that time, as City was on the way to a 4-1 win, ending the hopes of Liverpool fans.
The Reds had been strong favourites with sports-betting companies going into the game, and the team was never troubled by its opponents, with goalkeeper Alisson recording his 21st clean sheet of the season to land the Premier League Golden Glove. The victory was also the team’s ninth consecutive win and their 30th of the season. In fact, their tally of 97 points was the third highest in the history of the Premier League, but it was their great misfortune to be up against a record-breaking City team.
However, the Liverpool fans also deserve their share of the credit for what has been a memorable season, and they were in good voice again on Sunday. Many of them were not yet born the last time that Liverpool won the league, but they will be hopeful that their side can go one better next season. They also have the excitement of a Champions League final to look forward to when they take on Tottenham Hotspur in Baku on 1 June.
Words: Cameron Ng