How Man City v Liverpool v Spurs compares to the past five title races
Just five points separate Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham at the top of the Premier League, but how does this title race compare to those of the past five years?
City currently lead the way with 62 points from 26 games, with Liverpool behind on goal difference alone having played a game less, and Spurs lagging five points behind but also with a game in hand.
As we move towards the final few months of the season, we thought we’d take a look at how the past five Premier League title races were looking at this stage…
2017-18 – Man City lead by 13 pts
Let’s just say Guardiola was probably feeling a little bit more comfortable at this point last year.
His City side had a hefty 13-point lead over their ‘noisy neighbours’ and were playing some of the best football the Premier League has seen in years.
That gap only got bigger as the season came to a close, with the Sky Blues finishing 19 points ahead of Manchester United and becoming the first Premier League side to break the 100-point barrier.
2016-17 – Chelsea lead by 9 pts
If you travel back to February 2017 you’ll find Antonio Conte wondering what all the fuss was about with the English game.
His Chelsea side were walking the league at this stage in 2017, holding a nine-point lead over their London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
It certainly wasn’t an easy ride to overall victory, though, as Spurs pushed them all the way, closing the gap to four points with just three games left.
But Chelsea, fueled by the league’s new craze N’Golo Kanté, kept their noses in front to lift the trophy.
2015-16 – Leicester City lead by 5 pts
They won’t win it, though, will they?
Forget a happy Conte in 2017, Claudio Ranieri was on cloud nine and above at this stage three years ago.
His Leicester team were defying all odds by sitting at the top of the tree, and quite unbelievably they were unmoved.
The likes of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez were having field days in some of the biggest grounds in the world, making a mockery of some of the game’s greatest talent in the process.
They brushed off the pressure of Spurs and Arsenal to eventually go on to, well, you know the ending.
2014-15 – Chelsea lead by 7 pts
Not so much of a race this one.
This Chelsea team were a typical José Mourinho side, consistent as ever to maintain a decent buffer between themselves and the teams below them.
The Blues extended their lead to as much as 12 on occasion but in the end finished eight points in front of second-placed Manchester City.
2013-2014 – Chelsea lead by 2 pts
Now this was a title race.
9 February: Chelsea 56. Arsenal 55. Manchester City 54. Liverpool 50.
Arsenal fell away and were whacked 5-1 at the merciless hands of Liverpool on February 8, but that ignited a new challenge.
Brendan Rodgers’ side looked very much an outside bet for top spot at that stage, but an 11-game winning run pushed themselves into a position where it was theirs to lose.
Sadly for ther Reds, Steven Gerrard’s infamous slip at Anfield and the side’s collapse away at Crystal Palace opened the door for Manuel Pellegrini’s City to take advantage.
Unless Liverpool managed to win by 13 goals, City only needed a point on the last day, but just to be safe they thought they’d beat West Ham 2-0 to become champions once again.
We can only hope it will go just as far this year.
By Tom Rawcliffe