Liverpool Finally On Par

kerone fairweatherContributor IMay 26, 2009

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 24:  Sami Hyypia of Liverpool is lifted on to the shoulders of his team mates after playing his last game for Liverpool in the Barclays  Premier League match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on May 24, 2009 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

The 2008-09 EPL season finally saw Liverpool get on Par with Manchester United. Since Rafa Benitez took over for Gerrard Houllier in 2004  and even before that Liverpool has never matched Manchester United blow for blow in every aspect of the game including Rafa's Fact check for Sir Alex Ferguson.

It has been difficult to mount realistic EPL challenges on our main rival being separated by Chelsea and Arsenal from Manchester United. I think next season will test what Manchester United is really made of. It has been relatively easy sailing for Manchester United after they won their first EPL under Sir Alex.

Yes, Arsenal and Chelsea has been able to break the dominance briefly but i think it will be a total different prospect knowing that what ever United do will be with the team they hate the most in mind and they are the ones who will benefit from mistakes.

At the end of the day Manchester United have the trophies to show for it this season but United fans knows it as much as Liverpool fans that this time the challenge is  for real and not just blind optimism and Liverpool has gotten on par.

1) The Reds amassed their highest points total ever in the Premier League (86) beating the 82 set in 2005-06. It is our highest in the league since 1987-88.

2) The total of 86 points is more than we needed to clinch 12 of our 18 league titles (all seasons based on three points for a win).

3) We won 14 points against the other members of the ‘Big Four.’ It was as many points as we had won against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United in the previous three seasons put together.

4) Liverpool scored 77 league goals this season—our best since 1990-91 when we also scored 77, and finished second in the title race to Arsenal.

5) 16 players scored in the league this season—one fewer than the club record set in 1911-12.

6) We finished the campaign with a goal difference of +50—our best for 21 years when we amassed +63 in 1987-88.

7) The Reds went through a league campaign at Anfield undefeated for the 10th time in their history and for the first time since 1987-88.

8) We extended our unbeaten run of league games at home to 30—the best run for 28 years and equalled the fourth best sequence in our history.

9) We amassed seven more points than when we last won the title in 1989-90 (then it was 79).

10) We equalled the club record set in 1904-05 by winning 13 away league games.

11) Liverpool amassed 43 away points this season—the most in our history.

12) We finished the season averaging 2.26 points per game – the second best ever average in our 94 seasons in the top-flight. The best is 2.33 points in 1978-79 (98 points from 42 games based on three points for a win).

13) We scored at least three goals in five successive league games for the first time since 1987.

14) And we netted at least three goals in six successive games in all competitions for the first time in the club’s history.

15) We only lost two league games this season—our best record since 1987-88 when we also lost twice. That season we drew 12 games but still won the title by nine points from Manchester United.

16) We became the first team ever to lose only two games in a season and not go on to win the league. Chelsea in 2007-08, 2006-07 and Nottingham Forest 1978-79 were all runners-up having lost three games.

17) Liverpool ended Chelsea's 86-match unbeaten home record with a 1-0 victory at Stamford Bridge.

18) We recorded the club's first league ‘double’ over Chelsea for 19 years.

19) A Yossi Benayoun goal ensured we became only the second English team to win in the Bernabeu.

20) And at Anfield we inflicted upon Real Madrid their biggest ever Champions League defeat as we went goal crazy with a 4-0 win.

21) Overall we sent Madrid crashing to their heaviest two-legged European defeat in the knockout stages for 20 years.

22) We recorded our biggest win at Old Trafford for 72 years. It was also the first time four Liverpool players had scored at United in the same game.

23) Rafael Benitez broke Bill Shankly’s record of 65 European matches as Liverpool manager.

24) The boss also broke Bob Paisley’s record of 40 European wins.

25) Rafa recorded his 100th league win as manager in his 181st game. It was the third quickest ever by a Liverpool manager and 50 games faster than Alex Ferguson.

26) Liverpool have lost only six league games in total in the last two seasons. Manchester United have lost nine. Arsenal have also lost nine and Chelsea eight.

27) Liverpool finished the season as leading scorers in the Premier League. They scored 77 compared to Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal, who all scored 68.

28) The Reds boast the highest goals per game average of any team in all four divisions in England (1.93 goals per game) and will finish the season as such unless one of the following happens—Manchester United score nine in the Champions League Final or Chelsea score six in the F.A. Cup Final.

28 facts courtesy of Stevie Heighway of