A title-deciding play-off between Man City and Liverpool could really happen

Has there ever been a more exciting Premier League title race than this season’s?

Ok, it would take something spectacular to beat Sergio Aguero’s late winner against QPR in 2012, but the current dogfight between Manchester City and Liverpool has still been enthralling.

Statistically speaking, it has been the highest quality title race in the competition’s history and regardless of who wins the trophy, we will have a runner-up with over 90 points for the first time.

It looks as though Liverpool will be the unlucky party this season, having dropped below their rivals after a streak of draws in January, February and March.

The Reds are left needing City to drop points across their final two games but – on paper – the challenges of Leicester and Brighton shouldn’t give them too many problems.


Obviously, you can never write off anything in the beautiful game, yet Pep Guardiola is leading this City team with admirable calmness under pressure and they’re holding their nerve well.

Besides, Liverpool need to do more than sit back with their fingers crossed, they need to secure wins over Newcastle and Wolves to make sure they’re lurking in the best possible position.

Pretty fascinating stuff and fans will be given the definitive answer at full-time on May 12, right?


Well, rather incredibly, there’s actually no guarantee that the Premier League title race will end when both Liverpool and City complete their 38th games of the season.

That’s because there’s a slim chance there could be a Premier League play-off to decide the winners, assuming both teams finish on the same points and goal difference.

And when you consider that Liverpool are only one point behind the Citizens and have a goal difference inferior by just four, it’s not as unrealistic as you would first think.

According to the Liverpool Echo, these are the following scenarios that would force a dramatic play-off to be crowned champions: 

  • Liverpool win 5-0 and lose 2-1 AND Man City draw both games 0-0
  • Liverpool win 4-0 and draw 3-3 AND Man City win 1-0 and lose 1-0
  • Liverpool draw both games 3-3 AND Man City draw 0-0 and lose 4-0
  • Liverpool draw 3-3 and lose 4-3 AND Man City lose 3-0 and lose 2-0

Ok, so it would require a pretty dramatic win and draw for Liverpool in most cases, but none of the scores listed are wholly unrealistic.

Besides, most title races would need some bonkers 7-0 defeats to necessitate a dead heat at this stage of the season, so it goes to show just how close things are.

The moral of the story is – assuming the goal-swing works correctly – Liverpool would need to draw, while City lose and then both teams would have an identical score on the last day. 

Either that or Liverpool defeat Newcastle and lose to Wolves, while the Citizens wrack up draws against Leicester and Brighton.

There’s still plenty of moving parts on the whole scenario, but when you’re watching the Premier League football over the weekend, it’s certainly something to bear in mind.

After all, a Premier League play-off would be an incredibly dramatic occasion.