A week ago, it felt like the title was Manchester City’s to lose and as though that would be the story through to the end of the season. Today, it feels rather like Manchester City have lost it. They haven’t, of course. Not with half a season still to go.
If anything, the main takeaway—for fans, players, and pundits—should be just how much can change in a week. For City, for Liverpool, for Chelsea or Tottenham. Right now, though, it’s Liverpool as favourites. And City trying to figure out how to catch up.
“We were two points ahead of Liverpool and now we are seven behind,” said City midfielder Bernardo Silva when asked about the situation. “Seven points to Liverpool is starting to feel like a lot. We are not playing well [and] we have to find an explanation.”
City have now lost two games in a row, bookmarking Christmas with a 3-2 defeat to Crystal Palace and then a 2-1 loss to Leicester City. Liverpool have beaten Wolves and Newcastle by a combined score of 6-0. Not only are City behind, but goal differential is now level.
It’s not just Liverpool who their dip in form has handed a lifeline to, either, as Tottenham now find themselves a point ahead in second after winning their last five league games by a combined score of 17-3. A week ago, they looked a distant third.
“We need to start winning games but we can’t rely on ourselves,” Silva added. “We have lost two games that we shouldn’t if we are in a race for the title. There are a lot of games left and it’s mathematically possible but we have to be almost perfect from now.”
Even if City are perfect, they don’t control their own destiny. Not with just one game left to play against Liverpool and a seven point gap. A lot, though, can change in a week, and with Arsenal and then City up next for the Reds, the title is far from won.
But they are now favourites. And now we will find out just how well equipped these two sides are for playing the other’s expected role this season: Liverpool as the pace setters and Manchester City as the pressuring chasers.