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Opinion: Liverpool’s return to form good for English Premier League

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Liverpool midfielders Philippe Coutinho (center) and Steven Gerrard (left) and defender John Flanagan (right) celebrate scoring a goal during a match against Manchester City April 13 at Anfield. Liverpool won, 3-2. Courtesy of MCT

Liverpool midfielders Philippe Coutinho (center) and Steven Gerrard (left) and defender Jon Flanagan (right) celebrate scoring a goal during a match against Manchester City April 13 at Anfield. Liverpool won, 3-2.
Courtesy of MCT

When discussing the history of football — the European kind — there are certain clubs that stand out as giants of the game.

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Manchester United, Ajax and Liverpool.

Between all of these clubs, numerous domestic and European titles have been claimed, including 13 of the last 16 UEFA Champions League titles.

But one o f these clubs, Liverpool, despite all of its historical success, has been a ghost of its former self in recent years.

The club owns 18 English league titles, but hasn’t won one since the 1989-90 season. It hasn’t won a European competition title either since 2005’s epic comeback from 3-0 down against Milan.

But now, after taking care of Manchester City 3-2 at home this past Sunday, Liverpool has what seems to be its best chance to claim its first Premier League title (the Premier League was established in 1992 in place of the Football League First Division).

As an avid Manchester City fan — judge me all you want, I don’t care — this loss pained me because it means that Liverpool controls their destiny in the race for the title.

But not even the most dedicated fans of other English clubs can deny that on some level, Liverpool deserves to win another title eventually.

Sure, striker Luis Suarez is deplorable — having the infamous distinction of biting an opponent during a game, on two separate occasions — but the storylines are just too great to fight against.

A young manager in Brendan Rodgers, who is so close to reaching the summit at the sprightly age of 41.

Suarez and striker Daniel Sturridge combine to create one of the more entertaining goal scoring pairings in recent memory, as they currently sit first and second in goals scored this season.

It is also the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.

During an FA Cup semifinal match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest April 15, 1989, at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England, a steel-fenced barrier broke, and 96 Liverpool supporters died from injuries related to the accident.

But perhaps the greatest of the storylines is that of talismanic captain Steven Gerrard.

Gerrard has been with the club since 1998, making 471 appearances and scoring 111 goals, and is likely to go down as one of the greatest players to ever wear the Liverpool kit. But despite all of his hard work and success with the team, he has never won the Premier League title.

At age of 33, his career is likely coming to an end sometime in the next couple years, and it is hard to deny he deserves a title.

Gerrard was emotional following the win against Man City, saying at times he felt the game would never end.

“That win means so much,” Gerrard said in an interview with Sky Sports 1. “They got back into the game, but I think we showed today that we want to go to the wire. We want to go all the way. That’s the longest 90 minutes I’ve probably ever played in. It felt like the clock was going backwards in some parts of the game.”

Sure, the title is likely to come down to the wire — Liverpool is only two points clear of Chelsea, and Man City sits six points back but have played one less game — but for now the Liverpool faithful has hope that the drought will end and Liverpool will be restored to the elite club it once was.

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