Lucky Liverpool? One big slice of luck every Premier League-winning side has received from Manchester United to Chelsea
Liverpool only just managed to stay in touch with Premier League title rivals Manchester City with a rather fortuitous victory over Tottenham on Sunday.
The Reds won 2-1 at Anfield in a game where the visitors arguably had the better chances, with Toby Alderweireld’s 90th-minute own goal being the decisive moment.
It was a massive hurdle cleared by Liverpool, who are seeking their first league title in 29 years, but they have had lady luck on their side a few times this campaign.
City winger Riyad Mahrez missed a penalty when they met the Reds at Anfield in a game that ended goalless while Divock Origi scored an incredibly fortunate stoppage-time winner against Everton at Anfield – the striker capitalising on Jordan Pickford spilling a sliced effort back into play.
And although winning the Premier League is usually a pretty clear indication a team is the best in the land, you do need that bit of luck to go your way.
Here, you can look at the huge slices of luck every Premier League-winning side over the last ten seasons has had en route to claiming the title.
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‘Machedaaaa’ – Manchester United (2008/09)
Every Manchester United fan will remember Federico Macheda’s stunning late strike against Aston Villa in April 2009.
It ensured a 3-2 win for United and put them back to the top of the table just when Liverpool put the pressure on them.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side never looked back from then and every United fan had Macheda, who was 17 at the time, to thank.
However, the Italian’s career has not progressed at all and he’s represented nine different clubs since that goal, so you have to wonder whether that strike was a fluke!
Drogba clearly offside – Chelsea (2009/10)
However, there’s no doubt United were hard done by the following year when they were victims of a terrible call from the linesman in a home match against Chelsea, their main title rivals for that season.
The Blues won 2-1 at Old Trafford, but their second goal was scored by Didier Drogba who was clearly offside.
The result saw Chelsea leapfrog United at the summit and Carlo Ancelotti’s side received more luck when they faced Liverpool at Anfield in May 2010 when Steven Gerrard gifted Drogba the lead with an inexplicable backpass to the striker.
Chelsea never looked back though and ended up winning the league, sealed with an 8-0 victory over Wigan on the final day. The FA Cup was also Chelsea’s that year, too.
United’s opponents bottle it – Manchester United (2010/11)
Manchester United’s triumph in 2010/11 was significant as it saw them win league title no.19 and overtake rivals Liverpool, who until then had won a record 18 league titles.
They won it convincingly – by nine points in fact – but there were matches where United had absolutely no right to get points out of.
West Ham and Blackpool lost at home to the Red Devils despite having 2-0 leads, while Aston Villa conceded two goals in the 80th and 85th minutes to let United grab an unlikely 2-2 draw at Villa Park.
United were also lucky to beat West Brom 2-1 at The Hawthorns on New Year’s Day 2011 when Gary Neville was somehow spared a red card for a clear push on Graham Dorrans in the box at 1-1. This was incidentally the game where Neville decided he would retire from football.
United let City back in – Manchester City (2011/12)
Manchester City’s 1-0 defeat at Arsenal in April 2012 left their title challenge seemingly in tatters as Roberto Mancini’s side were eight points behind Manchester United with six games left.
However, in not very typical United fashion, City were given an unlikely route back in the race with the Red Devils losing at Wigan as well as a 4-4 draw at home to Everton.
City then beat United at the Etihad Stadium to take back control and a 2-0 triumph over Newcastle and of course THAT famous win over Queens Park Rangers gave the Citizens their first league title since 1968.
Nasri lets City down – Manchester United (2012/13)
However, United won the Premier League the following season in devastating fashion, wrapping up league title no.20 with four games to spare!
But the real turning point of the season came after they beat local rivals and holders Manchester City 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium in December 2012 with Robin van Persie’s stoppage-time free-kick the decisive goal.
United had Samir Nasri to thank for that, with the ex-City man hiding behind team-mates in the wall during Van Persie’s free-kick.
To make matters worse, the ball actually hit Nasri’s leg he, oh so bravely stuck out, deflecting the ball into the corner of the net beyond Joe Hart. United went six points clear and were not going to throw away a sizeable lead for a second straight season.
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Gerrard slip – Manchester City (2013/14)
Steven Gerrard’s catastrophic slip is something that still haunts Liverpool fans to this day as it changed the course of the 2013/14 Premier League title race.
The Liverpool legend’s slip allowed Demba Ba to give Chelsea the lead at Anfield in a game where the Blues won 2-0 and handed the initiative back to Manchester City.
City won their remaining matches and sealed another league title which was made easier by the Reds blowing a 3-0 lead at Crystal Palace the following week but the damage was already done.
Blues get the breaks – Chelsea (2014/15)
Chelsea were the champions after that in Jose Mourinho’s second season of his second spell in charge of the club and were deserving winners.
That doesn’t mean they didn’t get a bit of luck along the way, though, including during a 1-0 win at lowly QPR with an 88th-minute Cesc Fabregas strike coming from Chelsea’s first shot on target in the game.
The goal was incredibly soft, too, as it came from Eden Hazard seizing on a awfully sliced kick from Rob Green before Fabregas struck the ball home.
Big Six blow it – Leicester City (2015/16)
Let’s get one thing straight – Leicester City winning the Premier League in 2015/16 was truly spectacular, even if they only finished on 84 points!
However, they were fortunate in the sense that all of the big clubs had poor seasons by their high standards including Chelsea, who defended their title by finishing tenth.
Manchester City finished on 66 points, their lowest total since 2009, Manchester United also finished on 66 points, leaving Arsenal and Tottenham, who were never really equipped to win the league being Leicester’s main challengers.
Meanwhile, Liverpool, who had Jurgen Klopp for most of the season, finished all the way down in eighth.
Dreadful De Bruyne miss – Chelsea (2016/17)
Chelsea got their act together the following year and won the Premier League for the fifth time pretty easily.
However, it could have been so so different when Antonio Conte’s men extended their lead over Manchester City to four points with a 3-1 triumph at the Etihad Stadium.
City took the lead and should have gone 2-0 up but Kevin De Bruyne managed to hit the bar with the goal at his mercy from six yards out.
Diego Costa equalised moments later before goals from Willian and Hazard sealed the win and ultimately the title.
City’s late winners – Manchester City (2017/18)
City did not need a lot of luck en route to winning the league last season, however, as they exterminated most teams that crossed their paths.
They reached a record points total of 100 points but there were late winners against Bournemouth, Huddersfield and Southampton twice which required that little nudge from lady luck to happen.
Nevertheless, all the teams who have gone on to win the Premier League should be praised for taking advantage of the luck that comes their way.
Source: Prem News