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This season’s Premier League runners-up will leave a strange and bittersweet legacy

The confusing nature of an all-time great Premier League team without the trophy to show for it

There are many of you who won’t have any sympathy of this season’s runners-up.

Particularly, if that team happens to be Liverpool it seems.

But I will, being the pathetic snivelling snowflake that I am.


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Not a bottler in sight

EPA
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Not a bottler in sight

With three games remaining, Man City already have the equal highest points total of any team to finish second in a Premier League season.

Fittingly, the only team to finish on 89 points and not lift the trophy was Man United in 2012 — Aguerooooooo and all that business.

If Liverpool beat bottom-of-the-pile Huddersfield on Friday night, they will reach 91 points.

Only four Premier League teams have ever achieved more than 91 points given an entire campaign — Man United 93/94 (42-game season), Chelsea 04/05, Chelsea 2016/17 and Man City 2017/18.

All indications suggest this season’s runners-up will comfortably be the best (most unlucky?) ever.

Going the distance

Reuters
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Going the distance

Given the top two’s rampant form, it would not be a surprise if both City and Liverpool take nine points from their last three games.

That would mean City winning the league with 98 points and Liverpool taking silver with 97 points.

It’s feasible Jurgen Klopp’s side will accumulate the third highest points total in Premier League history and not win the league.

Such an achievement would be bittersweet… and that’s putting it optimistically.

Horribly bitter in that the red half of Merseyside’s wait for a Premier League crown would endure at least another year.

But cushioned by the knowledge that the Liverpool side of 2018/19 would go down as one of the greatest in English football history, if we are to trust the league format to determine such things.

Co-champions?

Times Newspapers Ltd
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Co-champions?

Just four more points would take them beyond the highest total ever achieved by Man United in a Premier League season.

They’ve already won more games than Arsenal’s Invincibles of 2003/04.

Fans from Manchester and North London will inevitably say such matters are irrelevant compared to the clubs’ respective trophy cabinets of modern times — a fair point.

But these stats illustrate the unique nature of this title race and sky-high standards of the two horses involved.

To the last minute

Getty Images - Getty
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To the last minute

It’s immensely cruel (or funny if you’re that way inclined) that the Reds have Guardiola’s City side as a direct rival.

If the Catalan tactician takes 198 points from two seasons then he could justifiably claim to have directed the greatest Premier League side ever.

Some may feel this is true regardless of how the final three games play out this season.

Both teams deserve to be recognised for their efforts; efforts that would usually result in a runaway title win.

Unfortunately for one of them, the other exists at an inconvenient time.


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