The title race and the sprint to the finish

by THOMAS O’SCANNELL Staff Writer

The Barclays Premier League is often regarded as the most exciting soccer league in the world, and it surely is not disappointing anybody this year.

Out of a total of 38 games, all teams have played a maximum of 32 games so far this year. The four teams aiming for championship glory are Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, and Arsenal.

Liverpool is currently in first place with a record of 22 wins, five draws, and five losses, holding 71 points. Three points are awarded for a win and one for a draw.

Despite being the most decorated team in English soccer, they have not won a first division championship since 1990. However, manager Brendan Rogers and his team will try to change that.

The last time Liverpool finished in the top four was the 2008-2009 season, narrowly losing the title to their sworn enemies, Manchester United.

The next season saw a descent to seventh place, and the team has been rebuilding ever since with new acquisitions and personnel alike.

Chelsea sits right behind Liverpool in second place, with a record of 21 wins, six draws, and five losses, for a total of 69 points.

Chelsea’s last Premier League title was the 2009-2010 season, and under the management of José Mourinho, they look to win the championship for the fifth time in their history.

Chelsea set the record for most goals scored in a single season (103) in their 2010 title-winning season.

Manchester City is third, only playing 30 games so far, with 21 wins, four draws, and five losses, for a total of 67 points.

Manchester City won their first Premier League title since the 1967-1968 season in 2012. They are managed by Manuel Pellegrini and may catch up to the top two in order to win the title.

Manchester City pulled off their famous 2012 Premier League victory by scoring two goals in stoppage time in a 3-2 victory over Queens Park Rangers on the last day of the season to snatch the title from cross-city rivals Manchester United.

Arsenal is in fourth place with a record of 19 wins, seven draws, and six losses, for a total of 64 points.

Arsenal’s last Premier League title was the “untouchable” season of 2003-2004, becoming the only team in Premier League history to go a complete season undefeated. Long-time manager Arsène Wenger will attempt to etch Arsenal’s name on the Premier League trophy for the 14th time in their history.

Arsenal started the year off strongest, retaining first place status in the league for a number of weeks in late-2013. They have not won anything in nine years, so any trophy would be a relief for the club and their supporters.

The teams have constantly battled it out this year, creating some timeless moments. Arsenal has been losing by large deficits to the other three, yet is still contending. Liverpool’s Luis Suárez has scored 29 goals so far, and has to score three goals in the last six games to break the record for most goals scored by an individual in Premier League history. By doing this, he would surpass the record (31) set by legends Cristiano Ronaldo and Alan Shearer.

Manchester City initially had a perfect record at home this year, but Chelsea’s 1-0 victory over them on February 3 at the Etihad Stadium changed that. Chelsea also recently lost their first Premier League game against Crystal Palace in over 20 years.

Only seven points separate Liverpool and Arsenal, making this year the most exciting in years. Fans of all teams tune in each week to watch the champions’ name thrown further out into the open.

Last year’s champion, Manchester United, have had a very disappointing year, and are currently in seventh place.

Chelsea will host Stoke City, and Manchester City will face Southampton on April 5. On April 6, Liverpool will play West Ham United and Arsenal with Everton, who are just four points with a game at hand behind Arsenal in fifth place.

This season will conclude on Sunday, May 3, so be sure to stay updated and find out who will win the league.

#BarclaysPremierLeague #soccer #ThomasOScannell

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