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5 times the Premier League title slipped from a team

With Liverpool losing nine points league to go second on the table, we take a look at 5 such incidents when teams lost a significant lead.

Sourav Ghosh
Last updated: 04.03.2019
The infamous Gerrard Slip which was instrumental in Liverpool losing the title

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“The Premier League is one of the most difficult in the world. There's five, six, or seven clubs that can be the champions. Only one can win, and all the others are disappointed and live in the middle of a disaster.” - Jurgen Klopp.


Not badly put Jurgen but your team is perilously oscillating between the spectrums of the 2nd line.

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29th Dec 2018 - Liverpool 54 pts. (1st), Manchester City 44 pts. (3rd).

4th Mar 2019 - Manchester City 71 pts. (1st), Liverpool 70 pts. (2nd).


Now that is a 10 point deficit Pep Guardiola’s men have managed to overturn despite losing 3 more games than Liverpool. Safe to say, Liverpool have given City the initiative and they’ll have to depend a bit on how City perform in the coming games. Now that begs a question! When did this sort of incident happen previously in the Premier League? Fear not. We bring to you 5 instances when a Premier League team blew a sure shot lead and conceded the title to another team.


1. Norwich City 1992-93 (eventual winners Manchester United) -

 

We start off with the inaugural season of the Premier League. Then known as the FA Premier League, fans were treated to one heck of a title race. The team we are focusing on, Norwich City started the season brightly, winning 10 of their 16 games. They managed to stay on top till the start of next year, January 1993. However, a loss to United meant that they had lost a bit of steam. The first position was conceded to United in mid-January and then Aston Villa usurped it the next week. This back and forth continued till 10th April when a dramatic United win and Villa draw put United in pole position. From thereon, it was all United who won the remaining 5 games of the season and the league was United’s after a 26-year gap.


2. Newcastle United 1995-96 (eventual winners Manchester United) -

 

A season and a post-match interview that Kevin Keegan would definitely like to forget. Let us just tell you how badly the Magpies fluffed up the campaign. 23 games into the season and Newcastle had a mind-boggling lead of 17 points. United and Newcastle crossed paths in December which United won courtesy of goals from Cantona and Andy Cole. A run of 5 consecutive victories gave Newcastle a 12 point lead. Then came the implosion. 4 losses in 6 games which included a loss to United meant that they conceded the first spot to United. A draw against Nottingham Forest was all that was the need for the Red Devils to win the league by a margin of 4 points only.


3. Manchester United 1997-98 (eventual winners Arsenal) -

Remember a certain French professor looking of Arsenal? This was the season that put Le Professeur on the Premier League map. This season was another proof that having a lead at Christmas counts for nothing if you can’t follow it up in the remaining months. 13 point lead at Christmas. That’s what Ferguson’s men managed to blow despite keeping close to that gap till March. With 3 games in hand, Arsenal was about to go full throttle which started with a narrow 1-0 win over United. 8 wins followed for Arsenal followed by 2 losses but it proved too much for Manchester United to overcome as Arsenal won the league by just 1 point.


4. Manchester United 2011-12 (eventual winners Manchester City) -

 

Now, this is one season that will forever be etched in the memory of both Manchester club’s fans for different reasons obviously. In the previous instances, we saw how the standings were decided with a point or so separating the teams but this specific season was so close that it came down to “that” one goal and the title went to City based on goal difference. Defending champions, Manchester United started in swashbuckling fashion but so did Manchester City. Both teams kept within a distance of each other and this continued right until the final match day. With simultaneous kickoffs, the excitement reached fever pitch. Wayne Rooney gave United a much-needed goal against Sunderland but at the Etihad, Pablo Zabaleta’s goal against QPR meant that City was still in the driver’s seat. QPR equalized through Djibril Cisse, after which Joey Barton was sent off. A goal from Jamie Mackie left City trailing and it was advantage United. But fate had something more exciting in store for everyone (except for the Red Devils)! In the 2nd min of added time (5 mins), Edin Dzeko headed one in from a David Silva corner to restore parity. 2 mins later, Sergio Aguero and Balotelli played a one-two at the end of which the Argentine managed to blast it into goal to seal the game as well as the title which prompted Martin Tyler to go “Aguero                                                                             

 

5. Liverpool 2013-14 (eventual winners Manchester City) -

 

If any Liverpool fan had been reading this, I’m pretty sure they’ve closed the page by now. A league drought that has continued to this day could have been over 5 years back. Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge single-handedly pulled Liverpool close to the finish line. 3 matches to go and a 5 point lead. You’d think Liverpool had done it. Well then clearly you don’t know football. A 2-0 defeat to Chelsea which included the infamous ‘Gerrard slip’ and an imploding draw 3-3 with Crystal Palace coupled with City’s wins meant that the title was so near yet so far for the Anfield faithful. City won the title by a mere 2 points, something that maybe wouldn’t have happened had someone not slipped in the most important moment of their club’s history.

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