Ahead of Manchester City v Liverpool, six more key games in title races | premier league

Manchester United 1 Manchester City 3

March 27, 1968
Manchester City (without a league title since 1937) played Manchester United (without a league title since 1967) two points behind local rivals and Leeds United. With just two points allowed for a win, they couldn’t afford to lose, which looked likely when George Best gave the home side the lead within 60 seconds. But City dominated afterwards, with Colin Bell, George Heslop and Francis Lee all scoring. The victory inspired City to the title – although they were won two weeks later when United became the first English side to win the European Cup. DH

Aston Villa 1 Ipswich 2

April 14, 1981
Long before he became TalkSport’s representative well living, Alan Brazil was a quick striker for Bobby Robson’s Ipswich Town. On a Tuesday night at Villa Park, his goal put Ipswich on their way. Brazil’s strike, following an error by Villa defender Ken McNaught, was followed by Paul Mariner who fired Eric Gates to score the second. Gary Shaw scored Villa’s late consolation with five minutes remaining and Ipswich had an advantage which they celebrated loudly in the away dressing room. Defeats to Arsenal and Norwich in their next games soon handed the reins back to Aston Villa, who became champions using just 14 players all season. J.B.

Fans try to catch a glimpse of the action at Villa Park, where Aston Villa suffered a setback against rivals Ipswich. Photography: Peter Robinson/Empics Sports

Liverpool 0 Arsenal 2

May 26, 1989
“The Liverpool players are down, absolutely despicable. [John] Aldridge is down, [John] Barnes is down, [Kenny] Dalglish just stands there, [Steve] Nicol is on his knees, [Steve] McMahon is on his knees. Brian Moore, ITV’s standout commentator, painted a picture of devastation as he described Liverpool’s reaction to Michael Thomas’ late goal at Anfield. That the game took place six weeks after the Hillsborough disaster now seems surreal, a reminder of football’s relentless idiom that the game must always go on. Arsenal manager George Graham briefly tried to stop his players from celebrating too wildly, but to no avail. The drama of their victory had proven overwhelming. J.B.

Arsenal's Michael Thomas celebrates his title winning goal as Steve Nicol shows his desperation at Anfield.
Arsenal’s Michael Thomas celebrates his title winning goal as Steve Nicol shows his desperation at Anfield. Photography: Colorsport/Shutterstock

Arsenal 2Manchester United 2

April 16, 2003
One of English football’s greatest rivalries was at its zenith – Arsenal had confirmed the previous year’s title at Old Trafford and looked certain to retain it for most of the following season. But Manchester United caught up with them and were three points clear when the teams met at Highbury. Ruud van Nistelrooy opened the scoring but two goals from Thierry Henry gave Arsenal the lead, only for Ryan Giggs to equalize seconds after the Frenchman’s second. On the touchline, Arsene Wenger was furious, while full-time Sir Alex Ferguson greeted the opposing team as if his team had won, because he knew that, ultimately, they had. DH

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson struts triumphantly onto the Highbury pitch after the final whistle.
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson struts triumphantly onto the Highbury pitch after the final whistle. Photography: Andrew Cowie/Shutterstock

Manchester City 1Manchester United 0

April 30, 2012
For Sergio Aguero’s 93.20 strike against Queens Park Rangers to happen, Manchester City first needed to wrest control of the title race from United. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side, eight points clear three weeks ago, are running out of steam, and he will admit mistakes in his team selection. Park Ji-sung was asked to race for Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs in midfield, but his own engine sputtered as Yaya Toure, Gareth Barry and David Silva ran the old guard to shreds. A smashing half-time header from Vincent Kompany propelled City to the top and towards a title they would win amid historic chaos. J.B.

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Manchester City 2 Liverpool 1

January 3, 2019
It’s odd to call a game played on January 3 a title tie, but no more so than Liverpool winning 13 and drawing four of their last 17 to finish on 97 points… and in second place. When they traveled to the Etihad for the now traditional New Year’s game played not on New Year’s Day, they trailed Manchester City by seven. But, although Roberto Firmino canceled Sergio Agüero’s opener, Leroy Sané’s goal settled one of the best games ever played in England. City won 16 out of 17 to claim the title by one point. DH