England

Unfathomable irony: EPL spoilers?

Oh the irony of ironies if the scouse lads of Liverpool cast a ray of sunshine on a dismal season sure to end with them denied  a spot in the Champions League by reversing a 2-0 away loss early in the season with a win against Chelsea on May 2nd, given that even a tie would likely ensure Manchester United’s claiming of a record 19th league title.

Liverpool currently sits level with their Manchester counterparts in the all-time glory category. That is, if the Red Devils can stave off a Tottenham club that kept the race close this past  weekend with a 2-1 defeat of Chelsea that keeps them well on their way to top flight European football, a level of play set to remain a mere memory for Steven Gerrard et al (expect more su-su sussudio inspired punch-ups soo-soo soon).

One can imagine the chants, with the best surely saved for Man U’s trip to Anfield next season. United, lucky to have pulled out a win against Man City with an amazing final seconds header by Paul Scholes while Rooney still looks to return to his former lethal heights following his ankle injury scare, have the better luck as their critical final three game against Tottenham will be at Old Trafford. Chelsea must venture to Merseyside for the toughest match of their remaining three fixtures. Certainly Stoke City – to play both Chelsea and Man U – can be a spoiler as well as Sunderland, which hosts Man U in their second to last match. If not Tottenham or Liverpool, the money would have to go next on Wigan Athletic meddling with the title race on the last day of action.

Unlikely, yes, but not impossible, given that Wigan ended a 34-year streak of losing to top four teams by embarrassing Chelsea 3-1 in a match that saw Petr Czech sent off prior to a PK conversion that gave  the hosts the lead, which they added to in extra time.

So why not count on lightning striking twice, especially since a Chelsea victory is as assured as a John Terry penalty kick? Sure, there’s the Rafa Benitez v Carlo Ancelotti tension dating back to their respective Champions League heydays (when the latter was with AC Milan), so one can envision Rafa relishing in exacting a damaging piece of revenge.

But perhaps mercurial Wigan can shock the world by calming the ship and ending on a high note. Their season has been marked equally by drubbings at the hands of Manchester United (5-0 both times) and Tottenham (9-1!), and shocker results such as the one against Chelsea and acts of revenge against Liverpool and Arsenal (having lost 2-1 and 4-0 in the respective earlier fixtures, they followed up with 1-0 and 3-2 wins).  The sky’s the limit for Wigan and for how Chelsea can once again come up miserably short.

(Unlike miserable Chelsea, Brion Shreffler actually has respect for Liverpool and their players. Guess which team he supports.)

One Comment

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