Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Liverpool and Manchester City win, as Premier League title race looks set to come down to the wire

Anything one can do, the other can match as the Premier League title race has Manchester City and Liverpool neck and neck in the standings. City lead by one point, but it’s a race that could come down to the final day as both teams have been close to unbeatable in the league. On Saturday, Liverpool defeated Newcastle United 1-0, in a match that wasn’t as close as the score suggests, while City saw off Leeds United with a 4-0 thrashing.

They’re competing on multiple fronts as the quadruple (winning the Premier League, League Cup, FA Cup and Champions League) is in play for Liverpool, and Manchester City are chasing their first Champions League title. So, not only can the teams not slip up in the league but they also need to ensure that they maintain focus on goals stretched across multiple competitions.

Liverpool stop Newcastle United in their tracks

Even though Liverpool are already ahead in their Champions League tie with Villarreal, Jurgen Klopp opted to get as many players rest as possible against Newcastle. Fabinho, Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Thiago all began the match on the bench, but the game showed how good Liverpool’s depth was as Naby Keita scored a great goal only 19 minutes in and the Reds didn’t look back.

Liverpool dominated in the match, taking 24 shots for an xG of 1.90 but what’s more impressive was their defensive composure against a much improved Newcastle team. The Magpies could only muster four shots and an xG of 0.18 against what could be considered the second choice midfield for Liverpool. When the Reds play, there’s a feeling of inevitability that they’ll pull out a victory and the quality of Klopp’s reserves is a large reason for that.

Manchester City dominate Leeds United

Speaking of inevitable, after Leeds United couldn’t take advantage of Cancelo’s slip only three minutes into the match, it was only a matter of time until City would go ahead and pull out a victory. All the paper in the world wouldn’t stop them from being picked apart by Guardiola’s machine.

Jesse Marsch has improved Leeds United in many ways but he’ll spend some time on the training ground working on set play defense as Nathan Ake and Rodri both scored following corner kicks. The defensive pressure in open play from Leeds United was good until Stuart Dallas went out with an injury during stoppage time of the first half, but it highlights all the ways that City can dominate. Even without Kevin de Bruyne featuring, Phil Foden took over the role of chief creator assisting two goals as City improved their goal difference to +63 one behind Liverpool’s +64.

Looking at the run in

Only four league games remain for each side with common opponents being Wolves and Aston Villa

vs. Newcastle

vs. Spurs

@ Wolves

@ Aston Villa

vs. West Ham 

@ Southampton

vs. Aston Villa

vs. Wolves

Looking at the strength of sides that each face, the advantage would go to Manchester City since Liverpool have to host Spurs but Antonio Conte’s side has been far from consistent this season. Facing opposition currently in the top six, Spurs have only won two games both of which were versus Manchester City. Because of that, I see each team winning out which will see both playing at home on the final day of the season. Will there be scoreboard watching in the future of seeing what team cracks first under pressure?

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