"Lady-Luck was riding [Liverpool] reverse cowgirl all season long and they still finished 6 points adrift."
--"Liverpool was not lucky at all."
During the Euro's 2008 a Turkish player earned one of my all-time favorite nicknames. Semih Senturk, the Lifeguard. If you were watching the Turks in the Euros you'll never forget their knack for the late goals. Perhaps "lucky" isn't the best word to describe it, but it's certainly something.
In the 2008 EPL season, Liverpool did their best Turkey impression. In the 80th minute or later, Liverpool snatched the lead to win 4 times. As if that weren't enough, they came from down a goal to win in the 80th minute or later another 2 times. Here are the who they beat, by whom, and when:
Sunderland, 83, Torres
Middlesbrough, 90+, Gerrard
ManCity, 90+, Kuyt
Wigan, 80 and 85, Riera and Kuyt (down one to win by one)
Portsmouth, 85 and 90+, Kuyt and Torres (down one to win by one)
Fulham, 90+, Benayoun
Chelsea, 81 and 82, Lukas Kuyt (draw)
Arsenal, 90, Benayoun (draw) :(
That's an astounding 16 points earned after the 80th minute. They finished the season with 86 total.
The next closest is, of course, Manchester United with 5 victories after the 80th minute (and no draws).
Sunderland, 90+, Vidic
Stoke City, 83, Tevez
Bolton, 90+, Berbatov
Aston Villa, 80 and 90+, Ronaldo and Macheda (down one to win by one)
Wigan, 86, Carrick
for 11 points. Chelsea and Arsenal only completed the late game magic 3 times for wins and Arsenal was the only team of the big four not have come back from the dead (down 1 into the 80th to win).
So I guess what I meant to impart is, since Pool still finished 6 points back and also snatched up 5 more cardiac thrillers than who they were chasing, it's not inconceivable that this year they return to earth. With no major signings and only departures (enter stage left: Arsenal), I predict a down year for Liverpool.
Arsene Wenger cobbled together starting lineups with spit and duct tape and Denilson and somehow the team dragged its ass over the finish line in third or fourth.