Liverpool home form is Manchester City Kryptonite despite record run

Liverpool home form is Manchester City Kryptonite despite record run
From ESPN - January 13, 2018

Several unbeaten runs could end on Sunday when Liverpool face Manchester City. The runaway league leaders have not lost in England all season, while Liverpool have not lost a match anywhere for nearly three months.

The Reds have benefitted recently from other top-six clashes, when sides they are contesting with for Europe inevitably drop points. Now those clubs will be watching Anfield closely this weekend, not publicly admitting City are beyond reach but privately hoping they will beat their closest, more logical rivals.

Ignoring City, eight points separate the next five teams. It's an odd situation, but hardly unique. Twenty-nine years ago, a Liverpool team was strolling away with the title but even they -- also unbeaten by this stage -- had drawn five league games, not the two City have dropped points in.

This makes many assume the Reds have their work cut out on Sunday but they have one distinct advantage: they will be playing at Anfield.

Some may scoff; after all, most would regard Old Trafford as a bigger test, but in recent seasons City have had a number of victories away to Manchester United. They may currently be playing like supermen, but for many years it's as though Liverpool's ground was made of kryptonite for them.

Back when the Reds ruled English football and City lurched from one division to another, such a poor record was hardly a phenomenon.

Once they received their financial injection from their owners in 2008, they'd have surely expected to turn the tables on their former tormentors. Not a bit of it. If anything, their record's worse.

Liverpool have lost at home to Manchester City twice in the last 55 years, ever since Bill Shankly dragged the Reds out of the Second Division toward a glittering future. It's an astonishing record. The last time they managed a win was in 2003, so that's another unbeaten record Liverpool want to protect.

Under the expert guidance of Pep Guardiola, they surely have their greatest chance of beating the jinx. Outsiders cry foul about their massive investment in players over the years, but that studiously overlooks how many great players they have chosen -- ones that were always within the price range of other big clubs. Some, like Kevin De Bruyne, already played at a big club but were somehow cast aside.

It also ignores Guardiola's gifts, especially after a summer when their major transfer outlay was on full-backs. Most experts scratched their heads at the time, but City proved everyone wrong with a vengeance.

Liverpool fans often yearn for different owners, perhaps in the City mould in which money is no object. Knowing just who to buy would still be the thorniest issue.


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