Liverpool's odds of winning the Premier League have been significantly cut following their thrashing of Arsenal today, but only the most optimistic Liverpool fan thinks that this will be season that the club will finish top of the heap. No, for most Liverpool fans, a top 4 finish - and Champions League football next season - will represent an excellent return on the year. A top 4 finish will mean that manager Brendan Rodgers' 'project' will be well on track. And, should history repeat itself, Liverpool will certainly acheive this objective this season.
Let's take a quick look back:
In the relatively short history of the Premier League, before today, Liverpool had twice beaten Arsenal by 4 clear goals at Anfield. In May 1998, Liverpool won 4-0, with goals from Ince (2), Owen and Leonhardsen. Liverpool went on to finish the season in 3rd place - Arsenal, interestingly, won the Premier League, with Manchester United 2nd and Chelsea fourth. Manchester City weren't then playing in England's top division.
And in December 2000, Liverpool again beat Arsenal 4-0 at Anfield (goals from Gerrard, Owen, Barmby and Fowler), and again finished the season in 3rd place - Manchester United came top, Arsenal were 2nd, Chelsea 6th. Manchester City were relegated.
So, Liverpool fans can take some comfort from the fact that, should history repeat itself again this season, their club will be playing in Europe's top club competition next season.
image: © helly - b