After Liverpool’s slightly flattering 3-0 victory over bogey side Southampton at the perennially difficult venue that is the St. Mary’s stadium, Reds’ eyes turned towards the promise land that is that elusive 19th title. However, to have any chance of achieving this dream, Liverpool will require both Chelsea and Manchester City to slip up.
Manchester City lifted the League Cup trophy yesterday, and the past four winners of this competition has suffered some sort of hangover in terms of their domestic form. Here’s a look at the past four winners and their subsequent league form.
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2010 – Manchester United
The Red Devils went into the League Cup final that year 1st place in the league, and prevailed 2-1 over Aston Villa at Wembley. However, United failed to win their next two games, a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea and a 0-0 draw with Blackburn. This meant they surrendered the initiative to Chelsea of which the Blues held on to win the title, a point ahead of United, who of course finished in 2nd.
2011 – Birmingham City
Martins’ winner extended Arsenal’s long wait for a trophy
Alex McLeish’s side were struggling in the league, going into the League Cup final sitting at 14th, looking precariously over the drop zone, and were the obvious underdogs against Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal side. Somehow, Birmingham City prevailed, after a calamitous clash between Wojciech Szcz ęsny and Laurent Koscielny allowed Obafemi Martins an easy tap-in in the final minutes of the game. Unfortunately for the winners, they lost 2 of their next 3 games and dropped to 19th. Even though they recovered in their next 3 games to climb to 15th, their last 6 games of the season saw them lose 5 times, plummet to 18th and subsequently relegated.
2012 – Liverpool
Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool side were having a mixed season, and entered the League Cup final in 7th, with many tipping them to win against Championship side Cardiff and use the subsequent momentum to push for the last Champions League spot. The Reds prevailed on penalties in a pulsating game, but that was about as good as it got for Dalglish’s second coming. They made another Wembley final, but lost to Chelsea in the FA Cup, and could only win 4 of their last 13 games, dropping one place to end the season in a disappointing 8th position, which saw Dalglish sacked.
2013 – Swansea City
Michael Laudrup’s side were huge favourites against League Two side Bradford, and so it proved, with a 5-0 thrashing that saw the Welsh side pick up their first-ever cup trophy. However, they could only muster another 2 wins in their last 11 league games, and ended the season in the same position as they started the League Cup final – 9th.
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As seen, the past four season’s winners have not had the best of times post-League Cup success. If Liverpool are to have any shot at all of winning the league, Manchester City, with two games in hand over the Reds, need to suffer a similar drop in form as the past four winners.
The Reds can only win their remaining 11 games, while the Reds’ supporters can only hope, and dream.