Liverpool Out of the Title Race? You're Having a Laugh

Barney Corkhill@@BarneyCorkhillSenior Writer IJanuary 22, 2009

The latest "crisis" to hit the Premier League seems to have been at Anfield, where Liverpool have gone a, quite frankly, disastrous two games without a win.

Suddenly their title challenge is all but over and Manchester United look most likely to equal Liverpool's record of 18 league titles. Even Chelsea, who seem to have overcome their tragedy which saw them slip a whole two points behind the leaders, stand more of a chance now.

At least, that's what the media would have you think.

It seems most clubs have been involved in a crisis, and I use that term loosely, so far this season. Manchester United went through one at the start of the season, Tottenham at a similar time, and Newcastle seem to be eternally in one.

Not to mention, of course, the Arsenal and Chelsea ones.

Now, the glare is on Liverpool. Apparently, they are falling apart. After all, Rafa Benitez has voiced his views over a fellow manager, has rejected a contract offer with "just" 18 months to come to a compromise, and Liverpool have drawn two games in a row.

Yes, they are unbeaten in 13 matches in all competitions, but why let small things like facts get in the way, right?

This past week hasn't been a great one for Liverpool, they lost the top spot to Manchester United, who have a game in hand, and suffered a harsh late equaliser in the Merseyside derby on Monday.

But what people don't seem to realise is that they are still joint top of the table, with only two goals being the difference between them and United. Yes, United have a game in hand, but that would only set them three points ahead at best.

A three point lead is by no means impenetrable.

The fact is that Liverpool have the strongest squad they have had for years. They are very hard to beat, with only Tottenham managing it so far. Liverpool have lost fewer times this season than anyone else.

Another key factor many haven't taken into account is one Fernando Torres. When he gets back to full fitness, and is firing on all cylinders again, he can turn the draws which have so far prevented Liverpool from being a long way ahead, into wins.

Of course, I'm not suggesting Liverpool will run away with the title. Manchester United and Chelsea will push them all the way, and any one of the three can win it.

Personally, I'm more worried about United. In fact, I'm fairly worried that United may complete the Quadruple, which would spark another decade of boasting.

But Liverpool's title bid is still going strong. They are going through a mini-bad spell, as United and Chelsea have done earlier on in the season, but they are still very much in with a shout.

I'm sure if you had offered Rafa Benitez this position at this time back in August, he would have bitten your hand off.


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