Over the course of the football league season, champions are made based on fine margins. It’s the close calls that make all the difference between being crowned champions and having to settle for second-best.
Getting stuck in and grinding out results in games when the team is not performing at its best, when the opposition is gritty or when things just don’t seem to go your way are the results that define a club’s potential to win the league. But while these are factors that the players and management can control by making a few tweaks, there are other factors that are out of one’s control completely.
Examples of such factors are injuries, personal emergencies, and performance and results of fellow title chasers.
And it is that last factor that has been spoken of quite a lot recently, with regard to the insanely close title race in England, between Liverpool and Manchester City.
Currently, Liverpool have 88 points with three games left, and City have 86 points with four games to spare. Given that they are the in-form clubs in the top flight, if both clubs win all of their remaining fixtures, City would be champions. This prospect brings us to the plight of Liverpool fans.
Having not won the Premier League since its inception, Liverpool are within an arm’s reach of glory, with City providing the only roadblock.
A roadblock that can be done away with, with the help of the old enemy: Manchester United. With due respect to other clubs, City’s toughest fixture is the trip to Old Trafford. And with both title contenders expected to win their remaining fixtures, it is only Manchester United that can stop City from winning the title, handing it over to Liverpool.
A recent TV promo shows exactly what it means to the Liverpool fans, in the most hilarious way possible. It shows a Liverpool fan having to reluctantly support arch rivals United (donning their jersey and singing their songs), hoping that they can do the Reds a favor.
The video is worth the watch and it does bring out a laugh, but it also highlights the conundrum the Reds’ fans find themselves in, perfectly: having to support a club they hate for the greater good; so that they can experience PL paradise.
This Manchester derby is hailed as the game that decides the title. If City win, they are well and truly in the driving seat to be back-to-back champions. If United win, the title is Liverpool’s for the taking. It’s a sticky situation for United fans as well, but come the derby, the red side of Manchester is sure to have more “Red” support.