Riding high at the top of the Premier League table Liverpool play their first game of 2019 tonight away to 3rd placed rivals Manchester City with a 7 point advantage over them. Spurs, still not considered serious title challengers, sit 2nd 6 points behind Liverpool.
Liverpool – A Blip Less Season?
A few experts, including former Republic of Ireland’s international Tony Cascarino, believed both teams would enjoy invincible seasons and City’s Riyad Mahrez had read the script. Back in October, when they met at Anfield, he blazed an 86 minute penalty high over the bar as the game finished goalless.
After consecutive defeats, at home to Crystal Palace and away at Leicester, Manchester City bounced back with an unconvincing 3-1 win at Southampton. Before City took the lead Charlie Austin completely fluffed his lines when presented with a gilt-edged chance that Mo Salah would have taken with his eyes closed. What looked like a halftime 1-1 score changed within a blink of an eye as James Ward-Prowse managed to get the wrong side of City third choice left back Olek Zinchenko inside the box. Zinchenko’s attempted challenge sent the Saints midfielder to the ground right in front of a Saints ball boy who was on his feet claiming a penalty. Referee Paul Tierney ignored him, the ball boy sat down, and a few seconds later Saints keeper Alex McCarthy picked the ball out of his net after an own goal by the luckless Ward-Prowse. With the last touch of the first half, Sergio Agüero made it 3-1.
Title All Done and Dusted
Five of the 8 goals Liverpool conceded this season have been on the road. One each at Burnley, Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs, and Leicester. Tonight could well be another Liverpool shutout.
At the age of 17 Marc started working for the local Echo in Southampton and even made the sports pages himself when selected for Hampshire youth. But a serious back injury, sustained after a car crash on his way back from a party from Bournemouth, put paid to his sporting career. So now he writes about it.