October 25th, 2009
05:06 PM ET

Title race is wide open after Liverpool win

Just when the critics were writing them off, Liverpool produced a performance of such passion and intensity it left defending English Premier League champions Manchester United looking very much second best.

A fired up Benitez inspired his men to a superb win over Manchester United.
A fired up Benitez inspired his men to a superb win over Manchester United.

The 2-0 scoreline at Anfield did not flatter Rafa Benitez's battlers who were desperate to avoid a fifth straight defeat which would have left the Spaniard staring down the barrel.

For sure, United can feel a little hard done by that Jamie Carragher was not dismissed for cynically pulling back his old teammate Michael Owen as he chased a late equalizer, but they did not deserve a share of the spoils after a lackluster display.

Going into the match, all the questions were over Liverpool's supposed frailties and over-reliance on Steven Gerrard and the magnificent Fernando Torres.

By the finish, United's own weaknesses were exposed, with the below-par form of Rio Ferdinand, exposed for the Torres opener for Liverpool, and their over-reliance on Wayne Rooney, who for once looked off the pace and received little support from Dimitar Berbatov.

Only the late introduction of Owen, who set up Antonio Valencia for a shot which thumped the crossbar, gave edge to their attack and the departures of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez may well be a factor by season's end.

Liverpool could even do without the injured Gerrard but with inspired by their fanatical fans, rightly described by Benitez as their "12th man" showed enough to suggest that they will be a factor in the title race.

And what a title race we have in prospect, surely the most open for many seasons?

Chelsea have taken advantage to lead the standings after 10 rounds, but United will not give up their crown easily while Arsenal are looking a growing threat.

Liverpool are established members of the top four, but throw into the mix the financial muscle of Manchester City and the nuisance value of the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa and it has all the ingredients of a classic season.

Who do you think will emerge as the Premier League top dogs come next May ?

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Filed under:  Football
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Nana Fredua-Agyeman

    I have always fancied Liverpool and have always wished that they take the title from Man Utd. except that always they have let me down, albeit unintentionally. I hope they get their acts together and produce a magnificent performance to outpace the rest. I also believe that the selling of Xavi Alonso is telling on the team. There is a long way to go looking at the champions league the the PL, hence there could be injuries and should you depend on some few (1or 2) players you would have yourself to blame if it gets to the crunch.

    October 26, 2009 at 8:18 am | Reply
  2. Lomasi Loverpool

    Who do I think will emerge as Premier League leaders come next May?

    LIVERPOOL F.C.!!!!!!

    CMON REDS!!!!!!

    October 26, 2009 at 10:48 am | Reply
  3. eche

    chelsea of course look like they are on course for a third title. they have much depth and experience in the squad. and to crown it all, joe cole is back

    October 26, 2009 at 11:23 am | Reply
  4. Nii Oko

    Man Utd will surely be champions again come next May.
    Though I felt Owen and Nani should have started the match to put pressure on the Liverpool defence with their pace, I trust Fergie to find the right mix to get the job done at the end of a tricky season.

    October 26, 2009 at 12:56 pm | Reply
  5. Oriaku

    I believe Chelsea will surely be the champions come next May. But its not over yet until it is over. They have all it takes to lift the trophy, watch Drogba, Lampard and all the entire team, u will have no doubt that they will be champions.

    October 27, 2009 at 10:12 am | Reply
  6. jc

    as a united fan i was fuming after the match they just gave up after liverpool scored there first goal it was a disgraceful performance but liverpool do not have a hope of winning the premier league because they are a bad side so stop living in fantasy land liverpool fans.chelsea will win the title because my team united are average

    October 28, 2009 at 10:57 am | Reply
  7. Cris

    Chelsea looks like the team to beat to me. Though Arsenal may make a run.

    October 28, 2009 at 6:33 pm | Reply
  8. pramok

    At this stage obviously its clear that Chelsea will take the title unless major injuries or something happens. Man UTD looks too weak after C.Ronaldo left for Real and they lost another world class player to Man City. I will give the 2nd possiblity to Liverpool and not Arsenal who does not have the final finish quality in big game as they are still a young team.

    Pramok
    KTM – Nepal.

    November 1, 2009 at 12:41 am | Reply
  9. geeman

    @pramok,
    Write off Arsenal at your own peril. Gunners for life!

    November 2, 2009 at 10:19 am | Reply
  10. Chester

    I think Chelsea is oncourse for the tittle, I want them to lift the cup. Though I'm entittled to my opinion, anything can happen.

    November 2, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Reply
  11. Jim Baiden

    The writing on the wall is Chelsea, Champions this season. Their work rate is fantastic and their attitude is good enough to clinch it !

    November 3, 2009 at 11:28 am | Reply
  12. Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    Manchester City, Aston Villa and Spurs possess sufficient fire power to tame the big four. City could even dream of capturing the jackpot. In a long campaign teams with a solid bench with many hungry guys on it hold the key in their team's quest for the top booty. Best wishes to all the aspirants.

    November 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm | Reply

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