Manchester United have learned the skill that carried Liverpool to glory last season. The Reds have a chance to end it at Anfield, however.
Consistency won Liverpool the title last season. Well, consistency mixed with momentum. Each paradoxically led to their other as the Reds just ran through every opponent.
They won games by the odd goal, essentially just winning them at the minimum. They dished out a few thrashings but they won the title on one-goal victories.
Liverpool had several by the time December came around, by which time they were almost-certain champions.
Let’s just run through them. Liverpool had one-goal wins over Southampton, Chelsea, Sheffield United, Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Brighton over their first 14 Premier League games.
Subscribe to Rousing The Kop TV now
That’s just relentless and it must have been infuriating to watch from the outside. Liverpool just won games.
They got there through essentially playing the same team every week, with very minor personnel changes and no formation changes.
Unfortunately, injuries robbed them of that this season. Jurgen Klopp has had to experiment from week-to-week.
And you know what’s even more annoying? Manchester United learned it.
Obviously you can’t just say ‘oh, we’ll copy winning every week’ and make it happen. So credit to United for pulling it off.
But their form since losing to Arsenal on November 1st is very familiar.
They’re unbeaten in 11 games since then, winning nine and drawing two. Of those nine wins, six were by just one goal.
It’s all too close to home for us. This is essentially how Liverpool won the title last season.
Though, Liverpool have a chance to do what United couldn’t last season. Eight games into the Reds’ season, they travelled to Old Trafford and dropped their first points of the season.
But they didn’t lose. It didn’t end their momentum and, especially with Adam Lallana’s late equaliser, felt like a positive result.
Today, then, Liverpool can do the job United couldn’t. They can pick up a dominant win, put their rivals in their place, and end their run.
It would put Liverpool top, too, and end their own run of poor form. That will feel like an overwhelmingly negative result for United – there’s no momentum coming out of that.