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2018/19 Premier League title race review: Look back at Manchester City & Liverpool's run-in as they went head-to-head for the Premier League trophy

Paul Higham · Journalist

Last Updated

13:56 · April 05, 2020 · 9 min read

Since Man City v Liverpool was scheduled for the weekend, we look back at the best title run-in in history last year.

Jurgen Klopp may well have been taking his side to the Etihad as champions this weekend, but while we've no football to enjoy let's look back at how an epic title race unfolded last season.

This epic heavyweight contest went right down to the wire, and as expected Man City managed to beat Brighton to claim the Premier League title by one point from Liverpool who comfortably beat Wolves at Anfield.

The same fixture last season was decided by the smallest of margins and Pep Guardiola's side went on to complete an amazing 14-game winning run to end the season - a barely believable string of victories under the circumstances.

It was a title race for the ages, and what was particularly special was the way both sides traded blows going down the stretch, when nerves often take hold and twists and turns crop up, this time both teams reeled off win after win and never buckled under the enormity of the situation.

Liverpool were banging in late winners, forcing City to grind out uncharacteristic 1-0 wins as they found it heavy going, before Vincent Kompany eventually belted in the real difference-maker against Leicester.

It was just one of the highlights of a pulsating run-in - so let's look back at home the drama unfolded.

Below, we look back at the drama of a pulsating two-horse race and how the odds changed as Liverpool and Man City went for the title...

Matchday 30

Saturday March 9: Man City 3-1 Watford[1]

Sunday March 10: Liverpool 4-2 Burnley[2]

As it stands..

  • Man City P30 W24 D2 L4 GD+58 Pts74
  • Liverpool P30 W22 D7 L1 GD+51 Pts73
  • Man City moved four points clear on Saturday evening thanks to Raheem Sterling's hat-trick - albeit with more than a hint of offside about the opener. It was enough though to pile all the pressure on Liverpool though, who then conceded a controversial early goal against Burnley.

    The Reds responded well by banging four goals in and looking a lot more like their old selves in front of goals, especially Sadio Mane who was picking up the mantle from Mohamed Salah with the Egyptian playing well but not scoring.

    Title odds: Man City 1/3 | Liverpool 11/4[3]

    Matchday 31

    Sunday March 17: Fulham 1-2 Liverpool[4]

    *Man City playing in the FA Cup

    As it stands..

  • Liverpool P31 W23 D7 L1 GD+52 Pts76
  • Man City P30 W24 D2 L4 GD+58 Pts74
  • With Man City in FA Cup action, The Reds had the chance to go back to the top of the table and they were cruising at Fulham until a huge defensive mix-up between the usually excellent Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker gifted Ryan Babel a goal cheered on more in Manchester than west London.

    James Milner rescued the three points though as he kept his cool to convert a l ate penalty after Sadio Mane, again Liverpool's goal scorer, was brought down. Jurgen Klopp summed up his Sunday in the dugout as "Average game - massive result!"

    Title odds: Man City 4/11 | Liverpool 2/1[5]

    Matchday 32

    Saturday March 30: Fulham 0-2 Man City[6]

    Sunday March 31: Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham[7]

    Business as usual for Man City at Fulham on Saturday lunchtime, this time with Bernardo Silva taking a starring role with a goal and assist for Sergio Aguero to get his now customary goal. An early goal meant there was no real drama down at Craven Cottage as City went back to the top of the table and pile the pressure back on Liverpool.

    That pressure didn't seem to be weighing heavy on the Reds as they dominated Spurs in the first half, but the visitors hit back in the second to level as nerves started to fray on the Kop. The hosts kept plugging away though, and Hugo Lloris' error led to a 90th minute own goal from Toby Alderweireld - send Anfield into delirium and sending Liverpool back to the top of the table. What a title race this is turning out to be!

    Man City game in hand

    Wednesday April 3: Man City 2-0 Cardiff

    Kevin De Bruyne: The Belgian celebrates his early goal for Man City against Cardiff

    City cruised to victory at the Etihad, thanks to first-half goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sane.

    Like the Fulham game, they were comfortable throughout and now have an 11-day break before their next league game. No rest though, with FA Cup involvement v Brighton followed by their Champions League quarter-final first leg with Spurs.

    The result lifted Pep Guardiola's side a point above Liverpool with both teams having six games to play.

    As it stands..

  • Man City P32 W26 D2 L4 GD+62 Pts80
  • Liverpool P32 W24 D7 L1 GD+53 Pts79
  • Title odds: Man City 4/9 | Liverpool 15/8[8]

    Matchday 33

    Friday April 5: Southampton 1-3 Liverpool[9]

    Saturday April 6: Man City v Brighton in FA Cup semi-final

    City's continued quest for the quadruple means that Liverpool had the chance to go back ahead, but it did not look good as they conceded early against a vastly-improved Saints side.

    It was a performance full of character though as Klopp's men left it late to win the game at St Mary's with subs James Milner and Jordan Henderson changing the momentum of the game and Salah scoring wonderful solo effort.

    As it stands..

  • Liverpool P33 W25 D7 L1 GD+55 Pts82
  • Man City P32 W26 D2 L4 GD+62 Pts80
  • Tuesday April 9

    Champions League quarter-finals

    Liverpool v Porto & Tottenham v Man City

    Matchday 34

    Sunday April 14

    Crystal Palace 1-3 Manchester City[10]

    Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea[11]

    Man City made no mistakes at Selhurst Park with Raheem Sterling doing the damage with a brace before Gabriel Jesus finished the Eagles off - putting City back to the top and piling all the pressure back on Liverpool.

    But once again Liverpool responded against their bogey team of recent years Chelsea with a fine performance at Anfield - Sadio Mane nodding them ahead before Mo Salah scored an absolute screamer to give them three vital points to go back to the top of the table.

    As it stands..

  • Liverpool P34 W26 D7 L1 GD+57 Pts85
  • Man City P33 W27 D2 L4 GD+64 Pts83
  • Title odds: Man City 4/5 | Liverpool 11/10[12]

    Matchday 35

    Saturday April 20: Manchester City 1-0 Tottenham[13]

    Sunday April 21: Cardiff 0-2 Liverpool[14]

    Phil Foden scored his first Premier League goal as Manchester City claimed a crucial 1-0 win over Tottenham to make it 10 victories in a row.

    The 18-year-old became City's third-youngest Premier League goalscorer as he headed home after just five minutes of a tense clash with Spurs, three days after their Champions League classic.

    A day later Liverpool refused to go away as a fantastic Gini Wijnaldum strike and late James Milner penalty saw them go two points above City once more.

    As it stands..

  • Liverpool P35 W27 D7 L1 GD+59 Pts 88
  • Man City P34 W28 D2 L4 GD+65 Pts 86
  • City game in hand

    Wednesday April 24

    Manchester United 0-2 Manchester City[15]

    Manchester City took a potentially decisive step towards retaining their Premier League title with a vital and hard-fought 2-0 derby win over Manchester United.

    Second-half goals from Bernardo Silva and substitute Leroy Sane killed off a fired-up United side at Old Trafford and took City back above Liverpool at the top of the table.

    City, who have won their last 11 league matches, now lead the Merseysiders by a point with three games remaining for both sides.

    The match had long been identified as a tricky hurdle for City but with games against Burnley, Leicester and Brighton in their run-in, they will now be regarded as clear title favourites.

    As it stands..

  • Man City P35 W29 D2 L4 GD+67 Pts 89
  • Liverpool P35 W27 D7 L1 GD+59 Pts 88
  • Title odds: Man City 1/4 | Liverpool 4/11[16]

    Matchday 36

    Friday April 26: Liverpool 5-0 Huddersfield Town[17]

    Sunday April 28: Burnley 0-1 Manchester City[18]

    It must have been hard for Liverpool fans watching the Manchester derby, cheering on Man Utd! But the players responded once again with a brilliant display against Huddersfield - who to their credit took the game to Liverpool but when most teams take the game to Liverpool this is usually the end result.

    It's still in Man City's hands though but only by the narrowest of margins as Sergio Aguero forced the ball overt the line by just a couple of centimetres as goal line technology gave the winner at Burnley. That was a tough test to survive but City now have one hand on the trophy in this epic title race.

    As it stands..

  • Man City P36 W30 D2 L4 GD+68 Pts 92
  • Liverpool P36 W28 D7 L1 GD+64 Pts 91
  • Title odds: Man City 1/5 | Liverpool 100/30[19]

    Matchday 37

    Saturday May 4 Newcastle United 2-3 Liverpool[20]

    Monday May 6 Manchester City 1-0 Leicester City[21]

    The penultimate fixtures and still no let up in the drama, firstly as Liverpool lose Mo Salah in a Saturday night slug fest in Newcastle, which saw them tested to their very limits once again. It was Divock Origi who popped up with the late winner at St James' Park to keep Liverpool's title hopes alive.

    Yet another tremendous show of courage, not to mention nerve, meant the Jurgen Klopp's side would definitely take it to the final game of the season - now could City respond on Monday night?

    It was tough again for pep Guardiola's side as former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers threatened to hold them to a draw before Vincent Kompany's bolt from the blue finally broke the deadlock. It was heart-in-mouth time as Kalechi Iheanacho got in but somehow missed the target with a sitter.

    It all means it's City's to lose with just one game to go...

    As it stands..

  • Man City P37 W31 D2 L4 GD+69 Pts 95
  • Liverpool P37 W29 D7 L1 GD+65 Pts 94
  • Title odds: Man City 1/10 | Liverpool 13/2[22]

    Matchday 38

    Sunday May 12

    Brighton 1-4 Manchester City[23]

    Liverpool 2-0 Wolves[24]

    So near yet so far for Liverpool, who for a few glorious minutes thought the impossible was happening as Glenn Murray gave Brighton the lead down at the Amex after Sadio Mane had put them in font at Anfield.

    Sergio Aguero scored a quick response though for City, which you have to think was crucial as the longer it went at 1-0 the nervier City would get - but in truth after that goal went in the result was never really in doubt.

    It was a strange atmosphere at Anfield as news filtered through of City taking control, and it seriously affected the players who seemed to come to a standstill at times as it began to dawn on them that it was not to be this season.

    Credit to Jurgen Klopp though for keeping his team going in the second half as they closed out the season with yet another win to finish on a remarkable 97 points - an even more remarkable total to not actually win the Premier League with!

    Pep Guardiola achieved his dream of winning back-to-back titles as he looks to dominate the Premier League the way he dominated in Spain and Germany previously, and to hold of the strongest of challenges just shows what an amazing side he's now in charge of at the Etihad.

    We may not witness a title race of such quality again!

    Final table..

  • Man City P38 W32 D2 L4 GD+72 Pts 98
  • Liverpool P38 W30 D7 L1 GD+67 Pts 97
  • Follow Sporting Life on social media - find us on Facebook here or tweet @SportingLifeFC[25][26] Related football links References :
  • Man City 3-1 Watford (
  • Liverpool 4-2 Burnley (
  • Title odds: Man City 1/3 | Liverpool 11/4 (
  • Fulham 1-2 Liverpool (
  • Title odds: Man City 4/11 | Liverpool 2/1 (
  • Fulham 0-2 Man City (
  • Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham (
  • Title odds: Man City 4/9 | Liverpool 15/8 (
  • Southampton 1-3 Liverpool (
  • Crystal Palace 1-3 Manchester City (
  • Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea (
  • Title odds: Man City 4/5 | Liverpool 11/10 (
  • Saturday April 20: Manchester City 1-0 Tottenham (
  • Sunday April 21: Cardiff 0-2 Liverpool (
  • Manchester United 0-2 Manchester City (
  • Title odds: Man City 1/4 | Liverpool 4/11 (
  • Liverpool 5-0 Huddersfield Town (
  • Burnley 0-1 Manchester City (
  • Title odds: Man City 1/5 | Liverpool 100/30 (
  • Newcastle United 2-3 Liverpool (
  • Manchester City 1-0 Leicester City (
  • Title odds: Man City 1/10 | Liverpool 13/2 (
  • Brighton 1-4 Manchester City (
  • Liverpool 2-0 Wolves (
  • Facebook here (
  • @SportingLifeFC (
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