Many expected significant movement in the Premier League title race this past weekend, as Manchester City visited a Crystal Palace side who have given them difficulty in the past, and Liverpool hosted Chelsea, who had famously ended their title aspirations at Anfield in 2014.
However, both teams won and the race for the trophy is close as ever. Both sides know that they will have to win all their remaining games to stay in the race—and both teams can do it. That, of course, is only good news for City.
The Premier League lead has changed hands 25 times this season, including this past weekend when Liverpool went two points clear once again after defeating Chelsea 2-0 at Anfield. Man City are on a nine-game winning streak in the league, and have a game in hand. So if they win all their remaining games, they will retain the league title.
They can win all five remaining games and Liverpool can win their last four—because both arguably passed their toughest test of the league season this past weekend. City looked effortlessly dominant at Selhurst Park, where their 18-game winning streak ended last season. And Crystal Palace beat them at the Etihad this season too.
The way they handled an opponent who has caused them big issues in the recent past says so much about their confidence at this critical time. They clearly have the belief they need to get over the line. And Liverpool beat an impressive Chelsea side with superior game management, beating a side who have caused them issues recently… and who famously cost them the title at Anfield in 2014, under similar circumstances.
Liverpool have fewer games left and they are all very winnable. Perhaps the only stumbling block will be Wolves at home on the final day, who may be looking to push for a European place.
City’s run-in is tougher—their game in hand is the derby against Man United, they must also play a Tottenham side that recently beat them and they have an extra game in the FA Cup Final to worry about. But they have easily dealt with Tottenham in recent matches when they’ve started a full-strength starting XI, they have the mettle to beat United, and they have an easier matchup than Liverpool on the final day.
Even if City lose their game in hand to United, they could take the title on goal difference on the final day if Wolves can hold Liverpool. Both Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have said they need to win their remaining league games—and I believe both will do it. It’s testament to how great these two teams are, but it’s only really good news for City.
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