Mido: 'Difficult' for Liverpool to keep Salah

In this 1-on-1 interview, Egyptian great Mido gives his thoughts on Mohamed Salah's season so far and why Liverpool might struggle to keep him if Barcelona or Real Madrid attempt to sign the forward.

Posted: Jan 4, 2019 4:29 PM
Updated: Jan 4, 2019 4:43 PM

The English Premier League title race caught fire Thursday after Manchester City beat Liverpool 2-1 to reduce the Reds' lead at the top of the table to four points.

Victory for Jurgen Klopp's men would have put the league leaders 10 points ahead of the defending champions and hot favorites to clinch the club's first league title for 29 years.

But though the finishing line will now feel a long way off for Liverpool's players, and fans, there are plenty of reasons, specifically statistics, to suggest that this is the season the Merseyside club will win a first EPL title.

Visit cnn.com/motorsport for more news and videos

Stats and more stats

First, to the most startling statistic of all. To over a century of convention.

Only once has an English club reached the new year unbeaten and not won the top division -- Sheffield United in the 1899-1900 season -- and no team in Premier League history has been seven points clear on New Year's Day (as Liverpool was) and failed to win the title.

For Liverpool fans starting to feel hot under the collar after their team's first league loss of the season, there's more.

Liverpool's haul of 54 points is the club's best return at the turn of the year in any season -- and the third-best by any side in top-flight history. Indeed, Liverpool is the first team to win all seven EPL games in December, a congested month in English football.

The stars are aligned, it seems. Or are they?

READ: Man City beats Liverpool to reignite title race

In eight of the past 10 EPL seasons, the leader on December 25 has gone on to win the title. The exceptions being, yes, you guessed it, Liverpool in 2008-09 and 2013-14.

But Klopp's side is different to the coruscating team of 2013-14 which was led by the brilliant Luis Suarez. The Reds have already kept more clean sheets this season than they did in the entire campaign under Brendan Rodgers four years ago, when City ripped the crown from their grasp.

Indeed, in that swashbuckling 2013-14 season Liverpool had conceded 50 goals -- just 10 goals have been shipped so far in this more measured campaign.

On paper, Liverpool has a favorable fixture list in January -- Brighton, Crystal Palace and Leicester -- but the Reds have lost 10 of 25 matches in all competitions under Klopp in the first month of the year which, according to Opta, makes up 29% of the German's defeats as Liverpool boss. Ominous?

READ: Holding Italian Super Cup in Saudi Arabia 'disgusting'

Statistics aren't everything, however. Though a first EPL defeat of the season was a setback, Liverpool wasn't outplayed by City. It was a tight contest between the two best teams in the country. Fine margins decided the match. In the first half it's estimated Liverpool were just 11.7 millimeters from taking the lead following a Sadio Mane shot that was cleared off the line.

As Klopp reflected post-match: "We were unlucky in our finishing moments. Unluckier than City I would say. [Leroy] Sane scores [off the post] and the situation with Sadio [Mane] when he hit the post [and misses].

"It was not our or City's best game, because we both made it difficult for the other team. I have already said to the boys this is OK. We lost it but it will happen. It is not nice but it is not the biggest problem."

Liverpool has to start winning again immediately (the next league fixture is away at Brighton on January 12), but so does City and third-placed Tottenham.

After victory at the Etihad Stadium, City boss Pep Guardiola told reporters: "Everything is open. Now it is tight again. Now we can rest and relax. I don't remember a league so tough, there are so many huge contenders fighting for the title. Every game is a final."

It would be unprecedented for Liverpool not to win the league from such a position of strength. For the optimistic neutral at least, whatever happens from now until May in the most intriguing EPL title race in years, the history books will be rewritten.

Huntsville
Few Clouds
56° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 56°
Florence
Scattered Clouds
55° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 55°
Fayetteville
Overcast
59° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 59°
Decatur
Broken Clouds
56° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 56°
Scottsboro
Overcast
57° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 57°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 236865

Reported Deaths: 3472
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31043491
Mobile19446360
Tuscaloosa12684150
Madison12528146
Montgomery12122235
Shelby992276
Baldwin837684
Lee759765
Morgan626247
Calhoun6049113
Etowah600564
Marshall596153
Houston510838
DeKalb469635
Cullman421136
Limestone408844
St. Clair403955
Elmore398961
Lauderdale387253
Walker356199
Talladega339044
Jackson302524
Colbert297641
Blount282236
Autauga266139
Franklin246233
Coffee236615
Dale228454
Dallas222331
Russell21923
Chilton218537
Covington215933
Escambia196931
Tallapoosa171790
Chambers171448
Pike156014
Clarke155319
Marion135535
Winston126623
Lawrence123936
Geneva11848
Pickens117618
Marengo117424
Barbour116710
Bibb115717
Butler114341
Randolph100321
Cherokee99624
Hale93231
Washington89918
Clay89623
Fayette86216
Henry8436
Lowndes78929
Monroe77911
Cleburne75614
Macon71720
Crenshaw70330
Bullock69019
Conecuh68214
Perry6726
Lamar6337
Wilcox62818
Sumter56222
Choctaw41813
Greene41317
Coosa3144
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 345916

Reported Deaths: 4372
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby45850645
Davidson40834409
Knox17686142
Rutherford16918153
Hamilton15944139
Williamson1068176
Sumner9163134
Wilson705076
Out of TN692847
Montgomery623582
Sullivan612491
Putnam573779
Washington5609101
Maury556661
Blount518055
Madison5112107
Unassigned493018
Bradley484533
Sevier469131
Robertson357751
Tipton349138
Hamblen332258
Dyer309349
Gibson302663
Greene287871
Anderson274427
Dickson274232
Coffee263941
Bedford256428
Carter255053
Obion252849
Lawrence251532
Cumberland243535
McMinn234755
Warren227118
Hardeman220937
Roane220626
Loudon218518
Jefferson216431
Fayette214838
Weakley208035
Lauderdale200322
Monroe200042
Franklin194232
Trousdale189712
Hawkins182334
Wayne181210
Henderson178532
Macon177027
Hardin172625
White167418
Marshall165818
Carroll164434
Haywood159530
Rhea156730
Cocke155528
Overton150834
Cheatham149416
Campbell148322
Lincoln147113
Henry145017
Smith138419
Johnson137621
McNairy137533
Giles136044
Fentress117120
Lake11525
Bledsoe11395
Hickman112017
Crockett111025
DeKalb109121
Marion104017
Chester99419
Scott9667
Grainger92915
Decatur91613
Unicoi79125
Benton76415
Claiborne7539
Grundy74214
Lewis71914
Cannon7133
Union6945
Morgan6796
Jackson66410
Humphreys6617
Polk63714
Houston57620
Stewart56914
Clay52818
Sequatchie5015
Meigs46112
Perry46120
Moore3702
Pickett36713
Van Buren3422
Hancock1473

Community Events