After being beaten 2-1 this afternoon by Leicester City in what is now their third defeat in four games, Manchester City’s odds of retaining the premiership have plummeted from an odds-on price of 10/11 to 7/4.
City and Liverpool had been joint favourites going into this afternoon’s round of Boxing Day fixtures but, after a comfortable 4-0 dispatching of Newcastle at Anfield, the Reds have now emerged as outright, sole favourites to win their first league trophy in twenty-nine years.
Pundits are largely at a loss to explain Man City’s December Dip but across the red half of Liverpool tonight there is a growing feeling that this is finally their year.
There has been plenty of talk in recent days of Liverpool’s so-called Christmas curse – over the last ten years, the team leading the table at the half-way mark of the season has generally emerged as the team to emerge as champions at its end. There were two years in which that rule was broken – each time by Liverpool.
But if there is a curse, that was nowhere in sight this afternoon in a game in which talisman Mohammed Salah both won and scored a penalty to secure all three points early in the second-half, and re-joined Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on 12 goals as the Premier League’s top goal scorer in the process.
Liverpool remain unbeaten in all 19 games they have played in the league so far this season, registering 12 clean sheets along the way, demonstrating that the persistent defensive frailties which had derailed past league title charges have been addressed.
Facing an away trip to Man City on January 3rd, along with playing host to Arsenal this coming Saturday, Jurgen Klopp’s side will be keenly aware that the title is now theirs to lose. “We are on a good run,” stated Kopp in his post-match press conference, adding “[but] it will be a race until the final day.”