Paul Merson believes there’s no chance Liverpool will follow in the footsteps of Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ by remaining unbeaten throughout the Premier League season but hailed their ‘ridiculous’ 17-match winning streak.
Jurgen Klopp’s Reds are storming ahead at the top of the table having won their opening eight matches, opening up an eight-point gap on nearest title rivals Manchester City.
Liverpool required a stoppage time penalty from James Milner – controversially won by Sadio Mane – to down Leicester 2-1 at the weekend and Merson believes there were signs that they will struggle to maintain this unbeaten run, despite having City’s record of 18 straight wins in their sights.
‘Liverpool won’t go unbeaten, not a chance,’ former Arsenal midfielder Merson told Sky Sports.
‘What Arsenal did all those years ago, that’s some going. What Liverpool are doing, winning all these games on the trot, though, is ridiculous.
‘They weren’t great the other day. When Leicester got to 1-1, they looked like the team that might nick it, even though Liverpool didn’t deserve to lose.
‘For 70-odd minutes they were the better team, but they just kept on going and you have to get some breaks every now and again.
‘No-one is going to look back on October 5 and remember the penalty, but that spot-kick could’ve been a massive, massive goal.
‘When you win league titles, everybody forgets about what happens in October and November.
‘Everybody just thinks about what happened in April or May, but the penalty could be massive in the context of the title race.’
Merson wouldn’t go as far as to say the title race is already over, but he certainly thinks it’s Liverpool’s to lose.
‘I’ve said before that this side is not getting beat by any side in the bottom half and Manchester City have been beaten by two teams in the bottom half already,’ he added.
‘They’ve got the points on the board and can afford a slip here or there. Manchester City could beat Liverpool twice now and it wouldn’t make a difference. It’s all in their hands now.
‘I don’t want to say it’s Liverpool’s title to throw away because there’s a long way to go.
‘No-one has ever won the league in eight football matches, but if they keep on doing what they are doing, it’s going to be hard for anybody else to catch them.
‘The players had the title snatched from them last year. It was taken away from them after Man City won 14 straight football matches and Vincent Kompany stuck one in the top corner from 30 yards.
‘Liverpool know things can happen. This Manchester City team can get on a roll and reel off 10 on the trot so there’s a long, long way to go.’