Liverpool’s title defence may not be working out as the club’s fans hoped – but it’s a long way from being amongst the top flight’s worst.
This is the way the title race ends, not with a bang but a “ewww errr aaah” from Jamie Carragher, to paraphrase T.S. Elliot.
As title defences go it’s not looking like one of the better ones, but it’s a long way from being the worst.
For it to become that, Liverpool would have to be relegated.
The dubious honour of the top flight’s worst champions belongs to none other than the side who won at Anfield on Sunday – Manchester City.
City won the 1936/37 league title, finishing three points ahead of runners-up Charlton Athletic.
There was cause for double celebrations at Maine Road that year as their rivals Manchester United were also relegated to the old Second Division.
Twelve months later though, fortunes were reversed as City were relegated and United were promoted.
It was, and still is, the only time a club was relegated from the top flight the season after winning the title.
Manchester City are far from being the only reigning champions to stage a poor title defence, of course.
Everton won the league title in 1927/28, only to finish 18th the following season.
That was three places above the relegation zone at the time, with the bottom two of a 22-team league being relegated.
Ipswich Town won the league in 1961/62 but finished 17th the following season, four places above the drop zone.
Leeds United also finished in 17th the year winning the title.
Howard Wilkinson’s side were the last club to win the old First Division but finished just three places above the relegation zone the following season.
The worst record in more recent times was Leicester City in 2016/17.
Claudio Ranieri’s side famously defied the odds to win the title in in 2016, only to finish 12th the following season.