Manchester City and Tottenham are snapping at Liverpool’s heels as Jurgen Klopp tries desperately to hold them at arm’s length. As the season enters its penultimate chapter Liverpool look ready to mount one final assault, one last hurrah. Now not to curse anything but, this got us thinking: Who are the greatest Liverpool teams never to win a league title?
From ruckuses and rants, to 1-point shootouts – Liverpool have come so close to success on numerous occasions.
Liverpool wrapped up the season seven points behind champions Manchester United in 1997. Liverpool also completed the season level on points with both Newcastle United and Arsenal while Manchester United’s sum of 75 points is the lowest ever recorded by a Premier League winner.
Despite leading the Premier League for much of the season, a culmination of too many red cards and even more mistakes contributed to this Liverpool teams’ ultimate demise – an opportunity missed, nonetheless by one of the best, albeit undisciplined Liverpool teams ever.
When Liverpool’s 2008-09 season is discussed, two faces and one word in particular spring to mind: those of Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres and the word “fact.”
The potent duo combined on an almost weekly basis to demolish teams, forming a powerful, two-headed monster that was supported by superstars such as Xabi Alonso, Pepe Reina and Javier Mascherano. It seemed almost inevitable that Liverpool would become champions.
But too many draws in January and February, in addition to Rafa Benitez’s remarkable “facts” rant, saw Liverpool hand Manchester United the trophy in spectacular fashion.
This Liverpool team finished the season strongly, but the damage had already been done – some would claim by their own manager.
In 1971-72, Shankly’s Liverpool team succumbed to Derby County by one point and missed out on the coveted crown.
Despite the talents of Kevin Keegan, John Toshack and Roy Evans, Liverpool were unable to catch Derby County; however, this season isn’t remembered for Liverpool’s inadequacies but rather for the manager they yielded to: Brian Clough.
Shankly and Clough’s tussles would go on to epitomise an era when splender and eminence abounded across Europe in the shape of Liverpool, Derby County and Nottingham Forest. However, it was in 1972 when one of Shankly’s best Liverpool teams lost the league by a lonesome point.
Despite Steven Gerrard’s numerous achievements, formidable one-man performances’ and impenetrable status as a Liverpool legend, one lamentable moment comes to mind when remembering a season defined by a blunder. We know what happened, it needs no description nor explanation; it is, what it unfortunately is.
Nonetheless, over the course of the 2013-14 Premier League season, Brenden Rodgers’ Liverpool team won 26 matches, scored in excess of 100 times, while a resurgent Daniel Sturridge and a demented Luis Suarez combined for 52 goals and 19 assists.
Ultimately, however, it wasn’t enough. Concerned about an inferior goal difference to Manchester City, Liverpool threw everything they had and more at Crystal Palace only to draw 3-3.
Manchester City finished above Liverpool by two points.
So, how does Klopp’s team compare to those Liverpool teams of yesteryear who couldn’t cross the line? Can this team do what previous Liverpool teams couldn’t do and finish top in May? We think so.
Provided Liverpool can avoid the senseless suspensions that plagued the 1996-97 team, assuming they can steer clear of any “fact” based meltdowns, and if nobody takes a tumble then maybe, just maybe, Klopp’s team can be crowned champions at the end of the season.
The Shankly Hotel
The hotel is ideal for overnight stays or just watching the Liverpool match – you could be here to watch Liverpool be crowned Premier League champions.
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