ICONIC Premier League Title Clashes - Manchester City vs Liverpool
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The MOST ICONIC Premier League Title Clashes

With Liverpool hosting Manchester City in a top-of-the-table clash, it is time to reminisce about some title-challenger classics. We have collected three of the most iconic Premier League title clashes in which the title challengers of that season met in glorious fashion.

These games have completely changed the way the season ended, with one side gaining momentum while the other fell by the wayside.

Without further ado, let’s see who makes it in this edition of Iconic Title Clashes.

Manchester City 2-1 Liverpool 2018/19

In honour of the massive clash on Sunday, it would be rude not to start with a former game between the two. We will go back to two days after New Year’s in 2019. Liverpool started the season unbeaten after 20 games, while Manchester City had lost three of their previous five. Sitting seven points behind the Reds, City needed a result to get back within reach of Klopp’s men.

The first incident of the game ended up being the deciding factor and THE iconic moment of that particular season. Mané went one-on-one, hit the post, and while Stones attempted to clear the ball, Ederson jumped on it. With the ball just about to cross the line, John Stones just about got to the ball and hooked it clear. He hadn’t earned legend status yet, however, with another 70 minutes to play and a game to win.

The Citizens took the lead through who else but Sergio Agüero after he threw himself over in the box looking for a penalty, picked himself back up, and fired into the roof of the net. Liverpool responded with 25 to go, with both full-backs heavily involved. Trent found Robertson, who put it on a plate for Roberto Firmino. Just eight minutes later, though, City broke, and Leroy Sané found himself on the edge of the box. With an all-time great striker alongside him, the German backed himself up and hit the ball sweetly onto the inside of the post before finding the net.

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This game pulled City within four of Liverpool. Despite the Reds not losing another game for the remainder of the season in the league, they lost out by a point due to one too many draws. Despite reservations in the Sky Sports studio that evening, this game certainly defined who would end up winning the league despite the season being just over halfway.

Manchester United 1-2 Chelsea 2009/10

The most controversial of the lot, the Champions League finalists from two years prior met at Old Trafford to decide who would go into the run-in top of the table. Manchester United were a point ahead at this stage with just seven to play after winning their previous four.

Despite the home team’s form, it was Chelsea who drew first blood. Florent Malouda drove into the box and cut it back to Joe Cole, who audaciously backheeled the ball past Van Der Sar. When Yuri Zhirkov clattered Ji-Sung Park, controversy began to spread. Mike Dean was unmoved and waived play-on.

Both teams top scorers did not make the starting lineup, with Drogba on the bench and Rooney ruled out with an ankle injury. Within 10 minutes of coming on, Drogba had scored the goal that clinched it. It wasn’t just any goal; however, Drogba was standing blatantly offside.

“He looks for all the world when this is played; he’s offside,” exclaimed Andy Gray in the commentary booth. Federico Macheda got one back for the Red Devils but it wasn’t to be for the home side.

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The next week, United could not break down Blackburn without their talisman, Rooney, and despite Fergie’s men going on a winning run after, this loss allowed Chelsea to pip United despite dropping three points against Spurs in the run-in. On the final day, Chelsea won 8-0 against Wigan, which secured Carlo Ancelotti’s only Premier League title.

Newcastle United 0-1 Manchester United

Between Cantona’s comeback and Kevin Keegan seemingly crumbling under pressure, this is the pick of the bunch from the 90s. Just two months prior, Newcastle held a 12-point lead at the foot of the table. Now just four points ahead, they hosted fellow title challenger Manchester United at St. James’s Park.

The hosts dominated the first half, with Schmeichel and the woodwork being the barriers to the league leaders going in front. Ginola flashed a brilliant ball, which left Les Ferdinand in disbelief as he couldn’t get his foot to it.

The Red Devils started the second half better and within five minutes, they broke the deadlock. Phil Neville found Eric Cantona, who drilled the ball past Pavel Srníček. Newcastle continued to go forward but it just wasn’t their day.

After this game, both sides remained close until the run-in was almost over. Kevin Keegan, when giving an interview, gave his famous “I will love it if we beat them; love it.” The Newcastle legend lost his head after Alex Ferguson claimed teams were not trying as hard against Newcastle as they were against his own side. Newcastle went on to draw twice after the interview, guaranteeing Manchester United the title by four points in the end.

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There we have it: three of the many iconic games between the top two. We hope some of you aren’t too scarred after reading about the opportunities your club once missed. Let’s hope the top two on the weekend can live up to these absolute classics.

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