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What do Liverpool need to do to win the Premier League?

Liverpool beat Southampton 2-1 last Tuesday night meaning that with just one game left in the English top flight they trail Manchester City by a single point

Liverpool beat Southampton 2-1 on Tuesday night. With one game left in the English top flight they trail Manchester City by one point.
Paul Ellis/NMC/PoolEFE

Liverpool are on 89 points in the Premier League table, one point behind Manchester City, with sides having just one game to play. The teams both play on Sunday 22 May at 11 am ET (4 pm local time in England):

Liverpool will welcome Wolves to Anfield in what is expected to be a victorious farewell to their home fans who have witnessed a historic season as Jürgen Klopp’s side will fulfil every game available to them in all four competitions entered. Two domestic cups are already in the bag, they still have a Champions League final against Real Madrid in Paris, and the last day of the 2021/22 campaign offers a glimmer of hope that a Premier League title could also be theirs. It’s unlikely though.

Manchester City are also at home and Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa are hoping to cause a huge upset. Pep Guardiola’s sky blue machine usually finds the right gear to get them across the line - at least domestically - and few predict anything other than a home win.

What do Liverpool need to do to win the Premier League?
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Liverpool need Manchester City not to win

Given that Liverpool trail Man City by a point they cannot win the title if Manchester City win their game against Aston Villa. Man City come into this game having drawn against West Ham last Sunday, but having won their four previous league matches. They were beaten however by Real Madrid, in a remarkable manner, in the semi-final of the Champions League on May, 4.

Provided though that Manchester City do not win here’s how Liverpool could win the title.

Liverpool win scenario

If Liverpool beat Wolves and Manchester City fail to win against Aston Villa, Klopp’s side would be crowned champions.

Liverpool would move on to 92 points, with City being either stuck on 90 if they lose or 91 if they draw. Cue celebrations on Merseyside of a 20th top-flight league title for the Reds.

Liverpool draw scenario

If Liverpool and Manchester City both draw, then Manchester City take the title, with Liverpool moving on to 90 points, but City staying just ahead on 91.

If however Liverpool draw and Manchester City lose both clubs will finish the season on 90 points, meaning the title will be decided on goal difference (the difference between goals scored and goals conceded over the whole season).

Goal difference as it stands:

Manchester City - For: 96 Against: 24 Goal difference: 72

Liverpool - For: 91 Against: 25 Goal difference: 66

Liverpool trail on goal difference by six, meaning if they draw against Wolves they would need the incredibly unlikely scenario of Manchester City losing by seven goals to be certain of winning the title. (In this situation, Liverpool, having drawn will remain on a goal difference of 66).

Liverpool draw and Manchester City lose by six goals

If Liverpool draw and move onto 90 points, and Manchester City lose by six goals, the clubs would be level on points and goal difference. In that situation the title would be decided on goals scored, meaning Man City, with 96 to Liverpool’s 91 would win the title, UNLESS (and this is getting really rather preposterous now), Liverpool have drawn by some huge number of goals in order to equal or better City’s goal tally for the season.

If City lose 0-6 and Liverpool draw 6-6 (or more) then the title goes to Liverpool. If however City and Liverpool finish on the same number of goals scored then the title would be decided by a play-off. (Strictly the teams’ head-to-head record is looked at first, but that’s already all-square, both games having been decided 2-2.)

Don’t hold your breath for a play-off though, the most probably scenario to get one would be Manchester City losing 6-0 and Liverpool drawing 5-5.

Real Madrid will be hoping for it though... the play-off would likely be on 25 May, just three days before the Champions League final in Paris, where Liverpool play the Spanish giants.


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