Thursday, 15 May 2014

Reds in the Blues as Man City Bags the Premier League Crown Again


So the verdict is finally here. It is not always that the result for the winner of the English Premier League goes down to the wire. It happened when Manchester City won last time in 2012, but this Sunday it was not half that close. 

While Liverpool needed a win at Anfield against Newcastle United, Manchester City had to lose to give the Reds any chance. However, the mighty Manchester City does not look like a side that can be easily troubled. West Ham United were simply no match for them. 

On Sunday, Manchester City played off with West Ham at Etihad Stadium in Manchester, ending in a convincing 2-0 victory. The opening strike came after 40 minutes from the French midfield star Samir Nasri. The lead was further reinforced by a fitting corner goal by captain Vincent Kompany. 

This result earned Manager Manuel Pellegrini his first ever English Premier League victory, while the Sky Blues seem to be only getting used to the habit of lifting the cup frequently. 

But this football weekend was a major disappointment for the Reds as Liverpool failed to live the dream of winning the title after 25 long years. Especially, when veteran captain Steven Gerrard is at the twilight of his career. 

The Reds fans were scared to death when Liverpool had a shaky start with Newcastle. Newcastle offered some strong late season resistance and panicked Liverpool defender Martin Skrtl, who has quite a knack for it, enough to score an own goal for them. This was Newcastle's first away goal since March, scored by, well, not them. 

Newcastle defended well enough to keep fighting well into the middle of the second half. It was then when a couple of almost identical Steve Gerrard free kicks separated by two minutes, enabled Agger and Sturridge to score in a rather comfortable manner to vaporize the deficit and take the lead.  

The Reds fans may be disappointed over their club not winning the title, but in many ways, the club was the greatest winner this season. But the very fact that they came so close... really that close, literally a couple of goals away... that fateful game with Crystal Palace... It's just so painful for a Liverpool fan.

Liverpool jumped up no less than 5 spots since the last season and will be a major contender in the Champions League next year, replacing this year's lackluster Manchester United who took their precise No. 7 spot from last season. At least manager Brendan Rodgers shouldn't be getting fired.

Player of the season Luis Suarez with the Golden Boot

They also had another consolation with the flamboyant Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez taking home the golden boot and named Barclays Player of the Season, for being the leading goal scorer with 31 goals and 12 assists in 33 games. Furthermore, this season was the first time since 1896 that the club had scored 100 goals in a single season.

As a matter of fact, the goals scored by the top 2 teams were just neck-a-neck, with only City ahead by 1 goal. However, the goals against gave them the edge resulting in a Goal Difference of +65, so even equal points would not have mattered in the end. 

This season was a major game changer for many clubs. Everton has turned out to be one of the most consistently well performing teams under manager Roberto Martinez, ending at No. 5. Crystal Palace bounced back from relegation to end up at No. 11, while Southampton and Stoke City improved positions too.

Of course, Liverpool has significantly improved, while Manchester United had a fall from grace under David Moyes and became zeros from champions. OK, just No. 7, but that's pretty much it for the defending champions.

Teams such as Newcastle United remain mercurial, while West Brom also had a terrible season, losing 9 positions, and were saved only by the skin of their teeth from relegation. Norwich City, Fulham and Cardiff City were not so lucky after all.

You can find the final league standings here.

In any case, Manchester City proved to be the best team throughout the League and thoroughly deserved the title.

And in terms of quality, consistency and conceding errors, far more than Liverpool.