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Premier League final day record makes grim reading for Liverpool title hopes

Liverpool need to better Manchester City’s result on the final day of the season if they want to win the title, but history is not on the side of Jurgen Klopp’s team

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Jurgen Klopp reflects on incredible Liverpool season

With one game of the Premier League season to go, things couldn’t be much closer at the top.

Manchester City lead Liverpool by a single point after the penultimate round of fixtures. Pep Guardiola’s side dropped points at West Ham, with Riyad Mahrez missing the chance to give them victory from the penalty spot, while Jurgen Klopp’s Reds came from behind to beat Southampton two days later.

Since the Premier League came into being in 1992, there hasn’t been a single instance of a team leading the table going into the final round and not winning the title. Indeed, the last team to suffer that fate was Liverpool, back in the 1988-89 season, when they lost to Arsenal at Anfield to hand the London side the title.

That’s not to say there haven’t been some close calls, though. Here, Mirror Football looks at some of the occasions where the title was very nearly thrown away at the last.

1994-95

If there was ever going to be a team to overcome a final day deficit, it was surely the one which had won two Premier League titles out of two. However, despite a helping hand from Liverpool, Alex Ferguson’s men couldn’t get the job done.

Going into the final day in 1995, United were two points behind league leaders Blackburn Rovers. Both teams were on the road, with Blackburn at Anfield and United taking on West Ham United at Upton Park.

Kenny Dalglish’s league leaders went ahead through top scorer Alan Shearer, but second half goals from John Barnes and Jamie Redknapp turned things back in the favour of their opponents. United couldn’t take advantage, though, only drawing 1-1 after a stunning performance from Hammers goalkeeper Ludek Miklosko.

Blackburn won the league in 1995 despite losing their final game
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Image:

PA)

1998-99

Four years later, it was United in the box seat as they looked to complete the first leg of their treble. On this occasion it was Arsenal who needed a favour from their rivals, with Spurs at Old Trafford and Arsene Wenger’s Gunners hosting Aston Villa.

Just a point separated the sides at kick-off, while they were just one apart on goal difference. This meant that, when Les Ferdinand put Tottenham in front, some Arsenal supporters began to hope.

It wasn’t to be, though. Wenger’s men got their win through Kanu, but goals from David Beckham and Andrew Cole either side of the break meant United reclaimed the title after losing out to Arsenal 12 months prior.

Man Utd needed a final day comeback in 1999
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Image:

Reuters)

2011-12

No team has come closer than throwing the Premier League title away on the final day than City in 2012. Rivals Man Utd had been comfortably out in front in April but dropped points – including in the Manchester Derby – had left Roberto Mancini’s team in pole position.

United held up their half of the bargain by beating Sunderland 1-0, and things looked to be going according to plan for the league leaders when Pablo Zabaleta put them ahead. However, goals from Djibril Cisse and Jamie Mackie sent relegation-battling QPR into a shock lead.

As we now know, though, losing in the 90th minute isn’t the same as losing at full-time. Edin Dzeko scored a late equaliser, Sergio Aguero scored a later winner, and City didn’t make unwanted history after all.

Sergio Aguero left it very late for Man City in 2012
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Image:

AFP/Getty Images)

2018-19

The two most recent Premier League title races were decided before the final day. Manchester City had three games left when a defeat for rivals Man Utd gave them last season’s title, while dropped points for City themselves had confirmed Liverpool as champions in 2020.

In the 2018-19 season, though, it went right to the wire. Challengers Liverpool had won eight in a row approaching the finale, while City had won 13 in a row – including a late victory over Leicester in their penultimate game – to hold a one-point advantage with 90 minutes of the season remaining.

Liverpool went in front early against Wolves, the same opponents they face this weekend, and when Glenn Murray gave Brighton a first-half lead over City, Guardiola’s team were left needing two goals to turn things back in their favour. In the end, though, they equalised almost immediately through Aguero, went ahead before half-time, and scored four times in total to pip Klopp’s men by a point.

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