The greatest Premier League title race in history was settled yesterday, with Manchester City edging out Liverpool by a single point. Liverpool lost one game all season, and their 97 points would have made them runaway champions in any campaign other than the last two. But all they have now is a second-place finish, and, perhaps even worse, years of trolling to be suffered at the hands of Everton fans.
How do Everton, Liverpool’s intra-city rival that finished 43 points behind the Reds, figure into this title race? Quite prominently, it turns out. The two rivals played twice this season, and both games hugely affected how the title race eventually shook out. The first game, played at Anfield in December, seemed destined for a 0-0 draw until Everton keeper Jordan Pickford failed to deal with a wild volley in the 96th minute, allowing Divock Origi to head in the winner from point-blank range:
By the time Everton and Liverpool met again, this time at Goodison Park in March, the Reds were sitting on a one-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the table. Playing in front of their rabid home fans, Everton managed to hold Liverpool to a 0-0 draw in that game. Liverpool went on to win every single one of their games for the rest of the season, but so did Manchester City, and those two points that Liverpool dropped in the second Merseyside Derby ended up being the two points that swung the season in Manchester City’s favor.
Broadly speaking, Everton fans don’t have much to gloat about. They’ve spent the last few seasons rooting for a mid-table side that has been a disappointment despite big managerial hires and big transfer splashes, all while Liverpool have ascended to the upper crust of the league. But Toffees got a chance to be smug assholes yesterday, and they did not let it pass them by.
A few thousand Everton fans traveled to London yesterday to watch their team’s final game of the season against Tottenham, and they spent most of it trolling Liverpool. Here they are reacting to City locking up the title:
And here they are after all was said and done:
And here they are after arriving back home in Liverpool, where they saw some sad fans in red and serenaded them with a trolly adaptation of one of Liverpool’s own chants:
The good news for Liverpool is that they still have a chance to win the Champions League when they meet Tottenham in the final on June 1. But if they lose that game, Everton fans are just going to have another bit of firepower to add to their shit-talking arsenal:
Sometimes sports are great because you get to watch your team win, and sometimes they are great because you get to watch someone else’s team lose.