Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Gap between Liverpool, Man City and the Rest of the League Has Become Too Much, Says Rafa

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Gap between Liverpool, Man City and the Rest of the League Has Become Too Much, Says Rafa

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRIS WAUGH

NEWCASTLE United manager Rafa Benitez believes Manchester City and Liverpool's dominance may be "good for football" but is "bad for the Premier League" because the gap to the rest of the division is becoming "too much".

Defending champions Man City leapfrogged the Reds once again on Monday night after defeating Leicester City 1-0 at the Etihad, and they hold a one-point advantage over Liverpool going into the final round of fixtures on Sunday.

Between them, the top-two sides have won 60 their 74 league games this season, losing on just five occasions, and have scored a staggering 178 goals.

Since Newcastle came from behind to record a shock victory over the Citizens in January, Man City have embarked upon a 13-game winning streak, and the Magpies are the only side they have dropped points against in the league in 2019.

Liverpool, meanwhile, have only lost a solitary league game all season, too, and that came against Man City at the turn of the year.

This season's title race has been lauded as one of the best-ever, considering Liverpool could yet finish second with the third-highest points total ever, and given that the decision of the Premier League trophy has yet to be decided heading into the final weekend of the season.

But, while Benitez accepts the football the two sides play is of a supreme standard which is extremely enjoyable for neutrals to watch, he fears the competitiveness of England's top flight is being affected by their superiority.

Third-placed Chelsea are 23 points behind Liverpool; and then, below Manchester United in sixth, there is a nine-point gap to Wolverhampton Wanderers, who will end the season as the best of the sides outside of the so-called 'Big Six'.

Given the size of Man City and Liverpool's respective squads in particular, but also the vast player pools compiled by the rest of the top six, Benitez stresses that the rest of the division simply cannot compete on a regular basis. …

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