USA About: Liverpool Publish: 12/20/2021 Edit: 12/20/2021 Author: Gardener
Manchester City secured pole position in the Premier League title hunt this weekend with another sweeping win, this time against fighting Newcastle on Sunday afternoon. Pep Guardiola's side scored their eleventh unresponsive goal in just two games as they galloped to a 4-0 win at St. James' Park just days after Leeds United were knocked out 7-0 at Etihad. City are three points ahead of Liverpool, who drew just 2-2 against Tottenham, and six ahead of Chelsea in third place, meaning the reigning champions will be at the top of the tree on Christmas Day. Although a gap of just three points is hard to beat, the omens are not good for the Reds as they try to make up ground on their rivals in the second half of the campaign. The leaders on December 25th won the title 53.5% of the time - in 15 of the previous 28 seasons since the Premier League was founded in 1992-93. But twice in the last three seasons, the top team failed to sew the title at Christmas. Both times it was Liverpool that surrendered - first there was a four point lead in 2018-19 and then a five point lead in 2020-21, both of which was overtaken by City in the New Year . Liverpool topped the Premier League table six times since 1992-93 on December 25, but have only managed to win the title from that position once: 2019-20. Only one club topped the table more than the Reds on Christmas Day and that is Manchester United, who have maintained the festive superiority of the Premier League seven times - although the last time United were at the top at Christmas was the last time was that they won the title (2012-13.) Man City were at the top twice at Christmas and were crowned champions both times (2011-12 and 2017-18). Incredible, Chelsea topped the table five times on Christmas Day and went on to win the title in all five instances, most recently in 2016-17 under Antonio Conte. To defy the trend, Liverpool may want to seek seasonal inspiration from striker Mohamed Salah who has once again reached an incredibly rich streak for the Reds. The Egyptian international couldn't find the net against Spurs, but at least he's sure to go into the Christmas season, knowing that he was decisive for Jürgen Klopp's team this year. 24 - Mohamed Salah has been directly involved in 24 Premier League goals (15 goals, 9 assists) this season, with only Alan Shearer having any further goals for his team before Christmas Day in 1994-95 (16 goals, 9 assists) Premier League season. pic.twitter.com/oMsHsLqQCH— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 19, 2021 In fact, only one player in Premier League history has been directly involved in more goals for his team in the first half of the season: Alan Shearer, the all-time scorer the league that led Blackburn Rovers to an unlikely title with 16 goals and nine assists in 1994-95. City can boast some new and pretty impressive records as the Guardiola juggernaut rolls on. With the win over Newcastle, City recorded their 34th win of calendar year 2021, more than any club in the English top division and a record that Liverpool had held for almost 40 years. 📊 @ManCity has set a new top league record of 3️⃣4️⃣ wins in a calendar year 2021 Man City 34 1960 Tottenham 31 pic.twitter.com/MWDFggbZDK— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) December 19, 2021 As if that wasn't it It's one Premonition enough that Guardiola's prolific side have now also scored more goals (106) in a single calendar year than any other team in Premier League history. With 17 goals scored in the last five games, it is hardly surprising that City has already clearly broken the 100-goal mark for 2021, surpassing a record they set themselves for Christmas winning the 2017-18 title. From today's perspective, City's lead is relatively small and the standings could change over the course of a weekend if the results go to Liverpool. This is the Premier League, however, and being at the top of the running order on Christmas Day still has a strong motivational power.
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