Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Liverpool may just be able to pull off the title quest

liverpool title hopesThings could not have gone better last week for Liverpool, who now sit alone atop the Premier League table for the first time since Christmas Day.

After a week that saw the Reds take nine points from three matches, while Chelsea lost to Crystal Palace and Manchester City drew with Arsenal, the league title is waiting to come home to Anfield for the first time in 24 years.

All Liverpool has to do is reach out and take it  – which is easier said than done.

The City draw at the Emirates was the biggest match of the weekend because it put Liverpool’s destiny in the club’s hands. Win their remaining six games – three on the road, three at Anfield – and nothing else matters. The title will belong to Liverpool.

“When you have a home ground like Anfield, and you’ve got the army of supporters that we have, you’ve got to really own the field. This is our pitch, our supporters, our ground, so our mentality is to own it.” – Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool has won 14 of 16 matches at home this season, dropping just five points all year. Overall, they are currently on a run of eight consecutive league victories.

And therein lies the rub.

To win out, the club would have to close the season on a 14-match winning streak, something that has never been done in a single top-flight season of English football.

As This is Anfield points out, Arsenal is the only team to win 14 in a row, but the Gunners did it over the course of two seasons – the end of 2001-02 and the start of 2002-03. Liverpool’s longest Premier League winning streak is 10, set in the fall of 2005, and their best season-ending run came in the 1981-82 campaign when they won 13 of their last 16 and 11 in a row.

Because Manchester City currently has two games in hand, Liverpool needs to win out – or hope Chelsea and Manchester City slip up again – and make history if they want to capture the title.

The good news is that Chelsea and Manchester City both have to come to Anfield, and Liverpool has not lost at home in a league game to Manchester City since the 2002-03 season – posting six wins and four draws in the 10 wins since.

“We respect Chelsea, they have a world-class manager, top players, the squad has been put together over the last 10 years to win the Champions League and Premier League and City are one of the new superpowers in European football. But we feel that we can win any game, because we are a team. We may not have the best group of individuals but we have a lot of hunger in a team.” – Brendan Rodgers

Six games to go. Six games to glory.

It is all there for the taking.

USMNT away kit is not the bomb

us soccer away kitU.S. Soccer unveiled its news men’s and women’s National Team away kits on Wednesday, one that manufacture Nike claims is a “striking red, white and blue design” and that the men’s team will wear Wednesday night in a friendly with Mexico.

According to a press release on U.S. Soccer’s website, the three bands of color – a “prominent” red, a “bold” blue and white (apparently they ran out of adjectives) represent the color of the American flag, in case anyone didn’t get it. The back of the jersey has a “modern and angular” font and includes an inside tab with 13 red and white stripes. (We think you’ll get that reference.)

The jersey will be paired with red shorts and red socks.

“I really like the new, patriotic colorway,” said team captain Clint Dempsey, being a good company man. “It’s a distinctive design that looks great on the pitch. They will serve us well as we head into a competitive group.”

All in all the uniform seems more suitable for France’s national team.

Thankfully it is the players in the jerseys, not the jerseys themselves, that matter.

(Photos by Getty Images and Nike)

 

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