Stick Six in Crystal Palace's Goal and We'll Discuss the Options Later

Alex Livesey

Liverpool probably won't make up their goal differential disadvantage. And City don't seem likely to slip up. You never know, though, so might as well sit back and enjoy what's left of the season.

Chances are Liverpool will lose the Premier League title this season. Chances are they will lose it to Manchester City on goal differential, with both sides heavily favoured to win their remaining two matches and end up level on points. Liverpool fans can hope for City to slip up, but looking at their next two opponents, today's results mean that Aston Villa is now mathematically safe and has nothing to play for. West Ham, meanwhile, have had nothing to play for for quite some time.

With City defeating Everton yesterday, both they and Liverpool have now played 36 games. With two remaining, City have a nine goal edge in goal differential. If they were to win their last two matches by a modest combined three goals, that would raise the number to twelve. To even have a hope of equalling City's goal differential should the two sides win out, Liverpool would have to target winning each of their last two matches by about six goals apiece. So. No trouble, then.

Except that the last time Liverpool won the league, back in the 1989-90 season, they beat Crystal Palace by 9-0. Of course it was at home, in September, and Palace didn't have Tony Pulis and his magical ball cap of doom running the show. But still: 9-0 against Palace in their last league winning season! Precedent! Etcetera! Or maybe not. Still, if there were any side one might consider betting on to overturn a goal differential deficit in the neighbourhood of 12 goals, it would be this Liverpool side.

Liverpool certainly won't be favoured to turn a pair of scorelines in the neighbourhood of 6-0, but given some of the goalfests this side has embarked on it isn't actually all that much less likely than the idea of City dropping points against likely disinterest Villa and West Ham sides. 4-1 against West Brom, 4-0 against Fulham, and 5-1 against Norwich back in the autumn. A five goal thumping of Tottenham at White Hart Lane. Demolitions of Everton and Arsenal and six past Cardiff.

Chances are Liverpool will lose the title, and losing it rather heartbreakingly on goal differential seems the most likely outcome. Until the day that's certain, though, there's always the chance of putting nine past Palace as Liverpool did the last time they won the title. Or there's always the chance of a late Andy Carroll equaliser next Sunday at the Etihad. The chances are what they are, but with a mere seven days to go in the season, you might as well try to enjoy what's left of the ride.

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