AFTER NEARLY A DECADE of ups and downs between the divisions, Liverpool have finally won the league title. Their 1-0 victory over relegated-doomed West Bromwich at the Hawthorns was enough to put them two points clear of Sunderland and clinch the Championship.
Liverpool made a bright start to the season, winning their first three games. But in - and - out form left them well adrift of Sunderland, and when they suffered their third defeat in four games, at Bolton in mid - February, there was no thought of the Championship.
Then came the turning point. They went to Roker Park and beat Sunderland 1-0, the start of a 12 - match unbeaten run that took them through the field to the title.
Even so, it was a close run thing. Sunderland finished their programme with a 2-0 victory at Newcastle, to take them two points clear. Liverpool beat Nottingham Forest 2-0 to draw level, but with a far inferior goal average. They needed just a draw in their last game, and West Bromwich bravely held them scoreless until Liverpool got a late goal to settle the issue.
With only 59 goals, Liverpool have nevertheless broken the First Division scoring dominance of Aston Villa, who finished well down the table with 45. But their real strength has been in defence, with Scottish international centre-half Alec Raisbeck outstanding in the middle.
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