‘Tis the season to be jolly, especially if your team is top of the Premier League.
Christmas came early for Liverpool fans on Saturday as Crystal Palace stunned title rivals Manchester City at the Etihad to leave the Reds four points clear at the top of the tree.
City’s shocking 3-2 defeat, coupled with the Reds’ impressive 2-0 victory at Wolves on Friday night, puts Jurgen Klopp’s men in a hugely promising position as they bid to win their first league title since 1990.
In fact, the last time Palace beat Manchester City was 28 years ago – when Liverpool last tasted top-flight glory.
History dictates that the team which sits top of the pile on Christmas Day usually goes on to win the title, but the omens aren’t all great for the Reds.
Only twice in the last ten years has the top-placed team at Christmas failed to lift the Premier League trophy… and it was Liverpool both times.
Top of the tree at Christmas: Final positions
2008/09: Liverpool – 2
2009/10: Chelsea – 1
2010/11: Man United – 1
2011/12: Man City – 1
2012/13: Man United – 1
2013/14: Liverpool – 2
2014/15: Chelsea – 1
2015/16: Leicester – 1
2016/17: Chelsea – 1
2017/18: Man City – 1
In 2008/09, the Reds only lost two games all season but still finished behind eventual-champions Manchester United – despite beating them 4-1 at Old Trafford near the end of the campaign.
But the most infamous collapse undoubtedly came in 2014, with the Reds losing 2-0 at home to Chelsea thanks in part to a Steven Gerrard slip before throwing away a 3-0 lead to draw 3-3 at Crystal Palace.
So while Reds fans have good reason to feel extra cheerful on Christmas morning, the curse must be broken if they are to be celebrating in May.
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