Liverpool: This Ain't A Title Decider, But It Sure Feels Like It
1990: Mr. Bean airs on British screens. Glasgow begins the year as European Capital of Culture. The late Ultimate Warrior defeats Hulk Hogan to win the WWF Championship at Wrestlemania VI. Margaret Thatcher steps down as Prime Minister. Liverpool Football Club win the league. From a Liverpool point of view, the 90s has to be the longest transitional period endured, unless you're an Evertonian, who've been in a transitional period since 1886.
After 1990 the titles dried up; 'dried up' being a massive understatement. Over the course of the nineties, the closest Liverpool came to winning a title after the 08/09 campaign was arguably the exciting 95/96 season. Remember? The season where the famous 4-3 against Newcastle would be remembered; Were Martin Tyler memorably screamed "Collymore closing in!" at the top of his lungs, as Stan rifled the winner past Pavel Srnicek and his boss 90's barnet well into injury time. The Sky Sports camera showed Kevin Keegan depleted and defeated on the away bench with his head slumped behind a hoarding as if he'd just been on a stag do in Benidorm and watched Sticky Vicky earn her coin.
Twenty four years since that last title was won, eighteen years since that absolutely breath-taking game was played, Liverpool find themselves top of the league awaiting a visit from the cash-rich blue half of Manchester. Two free scoring teams going head to head in what promises to be an unbelievable game. Here’s were it ends, 0-0! It's going to be an emotionally charged weekend with the 25th Anniversary of Hillsborough coupled with Liverpool making their biggest title push since winning it many years ago.
Personally, this isn't a title decider, but it's as big as it can be before it takes that billing. Liverpool still have 4 "cup finals" to negotiate should they beat City. Should City get a positive result, it'll leave their title fate in their own hands with 5 of their last six opponents being in the lower echelons of the league. Should Liverpool win their remaining five games, this would be, statistically at least, their best ever season. I'm not talking about the amount of penalties we've taken benefit from or the amount of nutmegs Luis Suarez has dished out to unfortunate opponents (let's be honest, he could 'meg a mermaid), I'm talking about the amount of times the reds have managed to find the net as well as the total points accrued.
Liverpool would be on a total of 89 points which would beat their 08/09 record of 86. The potential 28 wins would eclipse the 25 wins accrued that season too. So, even if Liverpool painstakingly miss out on a long overdue 19th league title, I've seen enough from this young side to give me the belief that we will be seeing a lot more games of the same magnitude as the City game.
2014: Russia annexes Crimea. Belgium legalises euthanasia for the terminally ill of any age. A Malaysian jet disappears without a trace with 239 people on board. Liverpool win the league after a 24 year wait.
Stranger things have happened.
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