Man Utd vs Liverpool - updated

Another title race is over and Liverpool gave their best ever go where as their history in the Premiership is concerned. Let's have a closer look what seperates Manchester United and Liverpool at the top.

Man Utd won nine games 1-0, and kept 24 clean sheets. In Chelsea's record breaking 2004/05 season, the blues kept 25 clean sheets and won eleven games 1-0. Although Chelsea lost only one game, conceded only 15 goals and totalled a record 95 points, the fact is that Man Utd were very close to equalling two of those achievements/records and that says a lot about them.

Liverpool have had a few narrow escapes this season themselves, 0-2 down at home to Hull before drawing, struggled against Wigan at home, Boro at home, Portsmouth away, Man City home and away to name a few that have required comebacks not to mention going behind to Man Utd home and away before winning both - and what about the recent 4-4 against Arsenal? Swings and roundabouts, even if Man Utd did win one or two more from behind than Liverpool I doubt there would be a lot in it.

If you want a few reasons why Man Utd are top and how the draws and dropped points have impacted on this season.

Home Records 08/09

Man Utd : P19 W16 D2 L1 PTS 50 (Won 88.89%)
Liverpool : P19 W12 D7 L0 PTS 43 (Won 63.16%)

Unbeaten at home, Liverpool still dropped seven more points on their own ground than Man Utd on theirs. The most disappointing aspect of this season is Liverpool have never before won as many away games in a top flight season and it is their inability to beat sides at home that cost them the league title.

The following breakdown shows just how efficient Man Utd are, they've dropped points this season, but mostly away and against sides who should be giving them a good game. The precentage this season is then compared with 2006/7 and 2007/8 seasons.

vs Teams 1-4

Man Utd : P6 W1 D2 L3 F7 A9 PTS 5 (Won 16.67%)
07/08 : P6 W4 D1 L1 F11 A5 PTS 13 (Won 66.67%)
06/07 : P6 W2 D2 L2 F5 A4 PTS 8 (Won 33.33%)

Overall : P18 W7 D5 L6 F23 A18 PTS 26 (Won 38.89%)

Liverpool : P6 W4 D2 L0 F14 A7 PTS 14 (Won 66.67%)
07/08 : P6 W0 D4 L2 F3 A7 PTS 4 (Won 0.00%)
06/07 : P6 W2 D0 L4 F6 A8 PTS 6 (Won 33.33%)

Overall : P18 W6 D6 L6 F23 A22 PTS 24 (Won 33.33%)

vs Teams 5-10

Man Utd : P12 W8 D3 L1 F19 A7 PTS 27 (Won 66.67%)
07/08 : P12 W7 D2 L3 F23 A10 PTS 23 (Won 58.33%)
06/07 : P12 W10 D1 L1 F33 A9 PTS 31 (Won 83.33%)

Overall : P36 W25 D6 L5 F75 A26 PTS 81 (Won 69.44%)

Liverpool : P12 W6 D5 L1 F20 A7 PTS 23 (Won 50.00%)
07/08 : P12 W7 D4 L1 F19 A7 PTS 25 (Won 58.33%)
06/07 : P12 W5 D3 L4 F13 A10 PTS 18 (Won 41.67%)

Overall : P36 W18 D12 L6 F52 A24 PTS 66 (Won 50.00%)

vs Teams 11-20

Man Utd: P20 W19 D1 L0 F42 A8 PTS 58 (Won 95.00%)
07/08 : P20 W16 D3 L1 F46 A7 PTS 51 (Won 80.00%)
06/07 : P20 W16 D2 L2 F45 A14 PTS 50 (Won 80.00%)
Overall : P60 W51 D6 L3 F133 A29 PTS 159 (Won 85.00%)

Liverpool : P20 W15 D4 L1 F43 A13 PTS 49 (Won 75.00%)
07/08 : P20 W14 D5 L1 F45 A14 PTS 47 (Won 70.00%)
06/07 : P20 W13 D5 L2 F38 A9 PTS 44 (Won 65.00%)

Overall : P60 W42 D14 L4 F126 A36 PTS 140 (Won 70.00%)

Remarkably Man Utd dropped only two points against the bottom half of the table sides, Liverpool dropped 11. Of the 24 points Man Utd dropped this season, 10 have been lost during away trips to London - losing at Fulham and Arsenal, drawing at Tottenham and Chelsea. Another ten have been dropped to Liverpool, Everton and Arsenal.

Liverpool have dropped points to teams you might not expect them to - draws at home to Fulham, Hull, West Ham, Man City and Everton who they beat away from home to list a few. Good enough to win at theirs, but couldn't beat them at home.

You can live with losing to a good side, but losing to a side in relegation trouble in Middlesboro, or drawing against newly promoted sides in Stoke (twice) and Hull, is difficult to accept. Man Utd dropped just two points to relegation candidates, a draw against Newcastle at home early in the season and didn't drop a single point against newly promoted sides Stoke, WBA and Hull.

As a rule of thumb the Champions win 27+ games, that's around 71%. If Liverpool can't win 70%+ against the bottom half sides then what hope winning 70%+ overall? If you want to win 27+ games in a season then you could do with 15 or 16 against the bottom half, leaving just 11 in 18 against top half sides and a bit of leeway against more difficult opposition. Had Liverpool won two more games, and therefore 27, then they would have won the league, simple as. The sides 5th to 10th cause Liverpool a lot of problems, this season Liverpool beat all of them but only once. Despite doing the double over eight sides including Man Utd and Chelsea, Liverpool managed no doubles over any of the teams from 4th down to 12th.

No side has won the league having finished fourth the previous season since Leeds Utd won the old Division One in 1991/92, only twice has a side finished third and won the Premiership the following season. Liverpool secured second and plenty of sides have won the Premiership having finished second the previous season.

Copyright - Alex for


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