It was a familiar sight for Liverpool supporters watching Manchester City’s 2-1 loss to Chelsea on Thursday night: City manager Pep Guardiola swigging from a water bottle, leaning back in a chair, and feigning calm as one of the players he likes to refer to as “defenders” conceded a goal on an unforced mistake.
You know the move:
This time however, City’s Benjamin Mendy comedy of errors ending in a Chelsea strike and a Guardiola hydration session handed Liverpool the Premier League title.
It was a fitting end to a season in which one of the greatest Liverpool teams ever forged finally surpassed the most expensive collection of players ever assembled in the league. Pipped by City to title by mere centimeters last term, the Reds have spent the season highlighting the daylight that they have opened up between them and their rivals.
Even Guardiola acknowledged that a gap has appeared amidst a disappointing season that has seen them lose eight times in league play as compared to a solitary defeat for Jürgen Klopp’s mentality monsters:
“Liverpool played every single game like it was the last chance they have,” Guardiola said following his team's title defense-ending loss to Chelsea.
“And maybe we didn’t get that moment, especially the key moments in the first part of the season. That is the reality, that we are so far behind.
“Liverpool were fantastic in consistency throughout the whole season.
“We dropped points at the beginning of the season, and Liverpool didn’t drop points.
“We’ll have to recover for next season, to be more consistent, and recover the points we missed this season.
“That’s the reality. Two years ago we were 25 points ahead of Liverpool, and now they are this distance ahead,” the Spaniard continued, throwing in one of his customary passive-aggressive jibes.
“We cannot forget that we won two titles. This is incredible success for us, for the club; the last six, seven, eight years.
“So we have to take a little perspective, be humble, and say ‘Not all the time we can win’. And then we must learn what we need to do to avoid this situation again.”
Bring it on. Liverpool are back on our f’ing perch and are not particularly interested in conceding it again any time soon.