Liverpool stretched their lead at the summit of the premiership to eight points from just eight games as an injury time James Milner penalty gave them all three points at Anfield. The controversy surrounding the awarding of the winning penalty has been well debated by now with many claiming Sadio Mane’s delayed reaction to fairly minimal contact in the box duped the referee into awarding the spot kick. The decision was undeniably soft but with VAR unable to cite a ‘clear and obvious’ mistake, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool’s stayed perfect in the league against a rugged Leicester side.
Fast forward just over twenty-four hours and a dramatic late double from Adama Traore saw Wolves take a shock three points at The Etihad, meaning there was now an eight point gap between the only two horses seemingly fit enough to compete for the title. A wholly significant gap even with thirty league games to go. Many will naturally point to the fact Liverpool blew a seven point lead at the top last season however that was before they had won the Champions League under Klopp. Which has no doubt elevated his squad to new heights of confidence and consistency. At present Liverpool, earning three points whichever way they can, look like champions. Whereas Manchester City look like a still fantastic side that clearly need their first choice centres backs back fit as soon as humanly possible.
The makeshift partnership of Nicolas Otamendi and Ferdandinho filling in from central midfield looks unlikely to keep many clean sheets while City once again stumbled without the colossal presence of Kevin De Bruyne. With Pep Guardiola no doubt secretly rueing the fact he rested the Belgium playmaker in City’s recent 3-2 defeat at Carrow Road. Just like last season though only a fool would completely write City off when it comes to closing the gap. However, they will likely have to take matters into their own hands in their two games versus Liverpool. As at present not many teams seem capable of overcoming a Liverpool side that is no doubt presently one of the all round best starting elevens in world football.
City will hold onto the fact that Liverpool will have to travel to Qatar for the Club World Cup for two games just before Christmas and that by then their own first choice eleven could very well be back to full strength, at both ends of the pitch. Yet when looking at raw facts, Liverpool have lost just once in the league since the middle of May 2018, a truly staggering statistic. So City will likely have to hang their hat on the fact that Liverpool’s form might suddenly and inexplicably deteriorate rather than their own renowned ability to overcome their own flaws. So as the over used (once again) saying goes, it really is Liverpool’s title to lose as the autumn months kick in.
If you enjoyed this article or any others on thesixyardring feel free to like/share/RT them or alternatively mention them to friends as you all wonder how much City’s owners would spend on groundbreaking medical technology to get Laporte back fit by the end of international break.