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Brendan Rodgers says Liverpool could catch Manchester City on goal differential

May 5, 2014, 9:49 AM EDT

Liverpool v Chelsea - Premier League Getty Images

Even on 80 points but trailing table-toppers Manchester City by nine goals, most believe the title hopes of 2nd place Liverpool require the leaders to slip up against Aston Villa on Wednesday and/or West Ham United on Sunday.

But Brendan Rodgers is a bold man, confident in Liverpool’s free-scoring ability, and he insists it is not unforeseeable that even if City win out, his side could overturn that nine goal difference to win the Premier League.

“If there is any team that can score goals and turn it around it will be us,” Rodgers said.

“There is no question. That will be our aim. No question about that. I have seen it before. Chelsea beat Wigan 8-0 in the last game of the season [in 2010, when Chelsea won the title]. I am not paying any disrespect to Newcastle at all but if there is a team that has shown it can score goals, it is us. We are not a 1-0 team. We showed that at the beginning of the season but what we have shown since is we can score goals.”

Hard to argue with that.

On 11 separate occasions this season Liverpool have scored four or more goals in a game: West Brom (4-1 Oct. 26), Fulham (4-0 Nov. 9), Norwich City (5-1 Dec. 4), West Ham (4-1 Dec. 7), Tottenham (5-0 Dec. 15 and 4-0 Mar. 30), Stoke City (5-3 Jan. 12), Everton (4-0 Jan. 28), Arsenal (5-1 Feb. 8), Swansea City (4-3 Feb. 26) and Cardiff City (6-3 Mar. 22).

Further boosting hopes of an epic goal surge is the return of Daniel Sturridge, who is near full fitness in his rehabilitation from a hamstring injury meaning he’s likely to start on Monday when the Reds face Crystal Palace (3:00pm ET on NBCSN and streaming via Live Extra).

“Manchester City won the league on goals scored a couple of years ago,” Rodgers continued. “That’s why, when I came in here, I spoke about a team that could score goals because ultimately that is what it could come down to. We scored 47 goals in the first year I was here and now we have 96. That is what gives us the chance. We could sit and get the team to defend and not want to score but ultimately it’s the team that scores the goals that will win.”

While goals will be paramount for Liverpool to pull off a title charge via the goal differential scenario so too will good defending, which has not been the case of late for the Reds. The Liverpool defense has conceded two goals a match for the last three matches, although two of those came against top sides (Manchester City, Chelsea). Either way, Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho, Glen Johnson and Jon Flanagan will need to be at their very best if Liverpool is to upset the odds.

  1. heydingis - May 5, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    Nine is the goal difference as of today, but if goal difference is to be the deciding factor, it’ll have to be more than that. Goal difference only matters if the teams are level on points, which means we’re assuming both Liverpool and City win their two remaining games. If that is the case, City’s goal difference will be a minimum of 11. Four and five-goal victories, in succession, would be rare. Five and six-goal victories would be rarer still.

  2. serfelixculpa - May 5, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    What I’m not seeing in any of that analysis is where Liverpool ever on any occasion scored 6 unanswered goals…which, assuming Man City takes both its remaining games, is what Liverpool will have to do twice (at the bare minimum) to win on goal difference. City, by the way, beat Norwich 7-0 and Tottenham 6-0 earlier on in the season.

    Rodgers is doing what he thinks he has to by being positive and assertive, but this is all he’s doing. The season stands or falls on the next two games at the Etihad. Period. Full stop.

  3. quizguy66 - May 5, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    The reality is Liverpool would have to win the two games by at least 11 if Man City wins out.

    Right now Man City is +59. If they win two games 1-0 they will be +61.

    Right now Liverpool is +50.

    And if Man City wins the two games more comfortably, the mountain is that much bigger.

    Their only hope really is for Man City to drop points.

  4. atxnole - May 5, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    Keep in mind that if we’re talking hypotheticals, they would need to overturn an 11 goal difference, at a minimum. You’d need to add 2 to City’s total given 1-0 wins (at a minimum) in their final two games.

  5. Comrade23 - May 5, 2014 at 4:57 PM

    I’d say that answers that question.

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