Thirty-four games later, thirty-four weeks later, the Barclays Premier league tittle is still up for grabs but as the final movement of this symphony reaches it’s climax, it all seems to be but The Reds vs The Blues. Suarez vs Eto’o, Gerrad vs Lampard, Rodgers vs Mourinho, and ultimately, Liverpool vs Chelsea.
With four games remaining for either team, one of which includes a Liverpool vs Chelsea clash at Anfield, Brendan Rodger’s Liverpool edges Mourinho’s Chelsea 77-75 points. Frankly, both managers know the task that is set before them: win all your remaining games and you will shower in champagne.
Few issues have plagued Liverpool this season but a need for “real strikers”, as Mourinho referred to them, has not been one of them. The Suarez and Sturridge SS dynamic duo have found the back of the net for a combined 49 goals, making them the first and second top goal scorers this season. This pair is largely responsible for Liverpool’s phenomenal number of goals scored this season, a whopping 93 goals. However, a quick glance to the adjacent column on the right, that of the number of goals conceded, exposes The Reds’s Achilles heel. The Liverpool defense has conceded 42 goals this season, which is far too many for a tittle contender. One can bet that this will be Brendan Rodgers’s main worry during this home stretch of the 2013-2014 campaign and coming into the Anfield clash vs Chelsea.
With regards to Chelsea, their treble Eto’o,Torres, and Ba striker cocktail has yielded a meager 16 goals to date, thus, Chelsea has only 66 goals to its name in this campaign. Therefore, one wonders how they are second in the league at this point, but solving this mystery is a no-brainer. With the least number of goals conceded this season of all twenty teams in the league, Chelsea’s defense has done the magic and will be casting its spell on all the four teams that they are still to play.
Mourinho’s Chelsea have no doubt gradually got stronger during the course of the season and “The Special One’s” motivational skills and vast experience has taken hold hold once more. Before, if City had won their two games in hand, they would have more points than Chelsea but thanks to a sheer stroke of luck, City’s slip-ups against Liverpool and Sunderland have put Chelsea in charge of their own destiny. However, both Managers know that the last song is far from being sung, as shown by Rodgers’s words of caution to his players, I quote, “I said to the players this morning before training that if there is anyone looking at a rival dropping points, then also take it as a warning sign, it is never easy at this stage”. Though it is truly never easy at this stage, I’d say it’s pretty easy to pick out the two horses leading the race, it is The Reds vs The Blues.
*Author: Clever Mukori