As Tiger Woods fell out of favor and Sunday in Augusta turned into a sleepy 3-year-old crashing on sugar, wake up shooting probably the biggest game of the English Premier League season. Man City sit atop the table but barely. Liverpool, still in pursuit of a potential quad, are just a point behind Pep Guardiola’s side and will take pole position with a win and just six games left in the season.
It’s possible that every team will slip on the latter part of the schedule as the Premier League is a finicky beast. However, Liverpool have just one game left against a top four side (Tottenham), and the toughest clashes after that would be the rivalry matches against Manchester United and Everton, currently seventh and 17th in the table respectively. (The only reason Everton is mentioned is because they are Liverpool’s darby partner and the crazy double donk stuff that happens in these games is football plinko.)
City’s toughest remaining test would be West Ham, who have played all season and are capable of taking points from the reigning EPL champions even though they lost to them 2-1 earlier this season.
If you want some context for this quad that Liverpool is looking for, it’s the League Cup, the FA Cup, the Champions League and the Premier League. They already have the League Cup, and taking all four in one season is like a tennis player sweeping Grand Slams in a calendar year only if it was more difficult and had no never been done before.
The FA Cup final between Liverpool and Man City looms over Sunday’s game six days after the game. As far as City have been under Pep, Liverpool have won more press and praise because Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Virgil van Dijk and manager Jürgen Klopp are so lovable and capable, and they have broken the long title drought. The Reds’ EPL the same year they won the Champions League.
City coming back victorious, if not a draw, on Sunday and lifting the FA Cup in the space of a week would only partially send the narrative back to Man City. Guardiola in the Champions League, the most notable trophy he has failed to lift since joining the Etihad, plus an FA and EPL title would be a satisfying achievement in the line of San Antonio ending to LeBron James’ tenure in Miami after his arrival. so close to the previous season. (Machine-like efficiency is something these teams also have in common.)
Kevin De Bruyne has individual accolades and awards every bit as pretty as those sky blue uniteds, and he’s probably the best player of Belgium’s golden age, but the ease with which he makes spectacular plays seems fly under the noise compared to his peers because his club and national teams have not imposed themselves on the continental or international stages. Regardless of what you think of the EPL’s lack of a post-season, there are no game-winning or homecoming matches.
Games played without safety nets are more likely to create legendary moments, which is why people remember more Gareth Bale’s bicycle stunt against Liverpool in the Champions League final, English PK’s misfires in the Euro final and Luis Suarez’s World Cup handball quibble more than Man City managed to win the title against the Reds in a game on January 3 during the 2018-19 season which helped them win the title. The only reason I remember this game is because I’m a Reds supporter. I also remember the streak Pep’s side went on at the end of the year to lose the Premier League title, but that’s not the case for casual fans who aren’t at the running from a Brighton-City game on the decisive day of the season.
There seems to be a certain unappreciated quality about City. I love Phil Foden will fight for his mom after being harassed while in town as much as i enjoy her acting Raheem Sterling is still fighting against the not so veiled racism of the English press because he loves calling them out on their bullshit which he should do, but the catch is that they won’t write puffy pieces that endear him to fans. He’s also no longer a landscape-altering player if he ever was.
City are more respected than popular among American football fans I know despite themselves, not Liverpool, winning three of the last four EPL titles. So why do the Reds have the third most popular kit in the world and City only have the sixth? It probably has a lot to do with Liverpool’s rich history, bigger fan base as a result of that success, and Salah and Mane consistently lead the league in goalscoring.
It can also be attributed to the glaring hole in City’s trophy case. We’ve seen Pep beat Klopp in the EPL when it mattered before, so a win on Sunday is nothing new. If they want No.1 team-like recognition on the planet, they need an unassailable CV and the ‘Won the Champions League with honours’ accolade is missing.
These two football giants could also meet in this competition. As interesting as it would be if they swapped trophies like Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer separating Grand Slams at the height of their rivalry, it would be a public disgrace if Liverpool repeatedly used City’s face as a fulcrum on the path of one of the greatest. seasons in football history.
Lost in the hype over a potential quad, however, City are in contention for a treble, that was only done once and is also the closest an EPL team has ever come to winning a quad.