It has been a very entertaining season so far with so much at stake especially in England as the season draws to a close. The most defining moment is Liverpool’s attempt to win the quadruple; they have been able to achieve a record of been able to play all the possible matches for all the competitions this season, for a comprehensive analysis of the season ending performance for English teams through the years. BBC`s Chris Bevan has a detailed article. Can Liverpool reach the finish line? So far the magnificent Celtic team led by Jock Stein has achieved the quadruple in 1967 this impressive feat`s nearest effort came from the great Manchester united treble winning side of 1999, they had lost to Tottenham in the league cup. The other exciting but less defining moment was City`s domestic treble in 2019 the only trophy they did not win was the champions league knocked out by Tottenham and Liverpool defeated them at the finals, The Liverpool`s league, FA cup and UEFA cup win of 2001 they finished third while Manchester United won the league. The expectation of remaking history led by the admirable Jurgen Klopp will be given another test at the FA cup finals against the currently disposed European champions Chelsea, a team they beat early this year to win the Carabao cup. The Reds won for the second time against the blues on penalties making it two trophies with two more to go another trophy in the bag another test passed with flying colors. For Liverpool each victory takes them closer to history, the first English club with a distinction of dominance that may not be repeated, such a difficult and near impossible objective to achieve. No club sets up at the beginning of the season to win all but the best prepare to compete in all and expect the best while prioritizing the champions league and the league.
THE JOURNEY SO FAR
The Reds have been on a very high level finishing the group stage of the champion’s league with a perfect six wins from six from a group with three powerhouses in Athletico Madrid, Porto and AC Milan. Also winning all their away matches in the knock out stage against Inter, Benfica and surprise package and Europa league champions Villarreal with Real Madrid the final obstacle, a repeat of the 1981 and 2018 finals with both sides with a victory apiece. in the premiership they have matched Manchester City fire for fire with both of their head to head meeting having finished at 2-2, they have also matched City`s point haul in the last twenty five league matches their recent draw with Conte`s Tottenham had further increased their points deficit from a single point to three points against the defending Champions. During the season, they had significant double victories against Manchester United and Arsenal losing only to Leicester and West Ham-a league best. The depth in their squad and managerial prowess have helped them push in all fronts without losing momentum too much and was very helpful in their two triumphs against a very formidable Chelsea, the current world club champions, victory twice on penalties which is an incredible achievement in itself. City fell in the semifinals of the FA cup, while in the league cup they beat Leicester and then Arsenal in the semifinals drawing at home and beating them away. It must be noted that they had Mane and Salah representing their countries at the AFCON tournament in Cameroun.
CAN THEY MAKE HISTORY
This question can be answered in two ways, by going ahead and looking at the future by May 28th the day of the champions league finals the last game of the season would have been played and the answer provided or by delving into the past with history as a guide, Celtic won all the competitions entered almost fifty five years ago with the opposition not as daunting as the modern day challenge awaiting Liverpool, their major contenders were two genuine English clubs(City England`s champion and Chelsea the world champions) capable of winning trophies both domestically and abroad and Real Madrid a team that had edged out both of Liverpool`s domestic rivals with the tiniest of margins in the champions league, The Spanish champions have been indomitable at times. This does not diminish or undervalue the greatness of Celtic fondly referred to as the Lisbon lions but shows the higher quality challenge facing Liverpool. Again history tells us that England`s best performance for the season the Red devil`s treble winners went on a final run of games with the situation within their control to some extent, in the premiership they had Arsenal as a threat but were ahead on the table which was an advantage. when they both played an epic in the semifinals of the FA cup with Peter Schiemiecel`s penalty save during the match taking the game to extra time which they won from Giggs`s inspirational solo run and amazing goal, their final opponent Newcastle was like a lesser challenge and enabled them to field a relatively weaker team before they met Bayern Munich in the champions league finals. This cannot be compared to the opposition standing in their way even if they win the remaining two league games, City`s superior points lead will guarantee they lose out in the premiership title race, even if City suffer a double meltdown worse than what they suffered against Real Madrid in Europe, Pep`s team created a stir when they trailed West Ham by two goals but came back to level the encounter needing to win their last match and make Liverpool`s result inconsequential but then the Reds still needs to win their outstanding games and beat Real Madrid much later to win the quadruple. A herculean task indeed but Liverpool have benefited from football miracles in the past and can draw strength from them for this unique assignment. In 2005 in instabul they overcame a 3-0 halftime deficit against the mighty Milan team coached by Ancelotti, the Italian will lead Real Madrid, they won that incredible encounter on penalties, in 2019 they lost the first leg match 3-0 to Messi`s Barcelona but stunned them 4-0 in the reverse fixture and went on to win an all English finals. This time the bridge may be too far.
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