Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

FORGET THE PUNDITS, TITLE NOT EARNED YET ; Liverpool Are the Darlings of the Experts While City's Stylish Football Is Brushed Aside

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

FORGET THE PUNDITS, TITLE NOT EARNED YET ; Liverpool Are the Darlings of the Experts While City's Stylish Football Is Brushed Aside

Article excerpt

should Liverpool be presented with the Premier League trophy before or after kickoon Sunday - what do you think? Because if you have been reading national papers, or watching the telly for the past three or four weeks, the Scousers have the title in the bag. at is no re ection on Brendan Rodgers, his players or, indeed, most of their fans, who seem to be approaching Sunday's An.eld showdown with City with a mixture of nervous hope and downright apprehension. But the media overload on Liverpool has been astonishing. In one aspect it is understandable. With heart-rending stories of loss and despicable injustice emerging from the Hillsborough hearing on a daily basis, it is understandable that many neutrals are willing Liverpool on to their .rst title for 24 years. Anything that oers even crumbs of comfort to the bereaved, and those whose lives were touched by that terrible day in 1989, has to be a good thing. And the fact City go to An.

eld on a day that will be raw with emotion, as the 96 dead are remembered, adds another dimension to the match. e parallels with 2008, when City fans were impeccable at Old Traord to mark the 50th anniversary of the Munich air crash yet their players remained focused enough to win the match, are obvious. But the sympathy engendered by memories of Hillsborough is only part of the story. One national newspaper columnist argued that Liverpool 'deserve' to win the title, although the writer - a certain Jamie Redknapp - did not expand on his statement. It is true that Liverpool play excellent, attractive football, and purists always prefer a footballing team to a pragmatic, dull out.t like Chelsea.

But if you look at the season as a whole, and don't just retain a gold.sh-like recall of the last few weeks, City have been the team of the season. In the deep midwinter, they were smashing teams - six past Spurs and Arsenal, seven past Norwich, .ve at Spurs. And, while Liverpool have also been scoring for fun, to suggest the Blues' brand of football does not merit the title is churlish. e fact that Redknapp is just one of a horde of ex-Liverpool players who have swamped the TV gantries, radio studios and newspaper columns in this country tells part of the story. …

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