What once could have been considered a decent point on the road would now almost certainly be considered two lost points.
The extended football weekend makes every game more crucial.
If your team plays on Saturday noon, or maybe even Friday evening, its outcome can dictate how you view the rest of the weekend’s games, and whether your team has made or lost ground on its rivals.
Take the dramatic events of this week. In the past, Liverpool’s match with Crystal Palace and Manchester City’s trip to Chelsea would have happened at the same time, leaving Jurgen Klopp and his players to celebrate their achievement at the end of the match rather than in a hotel.
Not that they cared too much, of course. But the drama week by week is largely dictated by the vagaries of programming of the television companies.
Aside from the fact that they’ve faced off, do you know how many times Liverpool and Manchester City have started at the same time in the same league this season?
Ideas? No? The answer is once.
Every other week, the matches were staggered, which artificially increases the importance.
Now that the Reds’ quest is over, it’s natural to look back and choose the key moments that made this possible.
A 38-game football season equals 3,420 minutes of team football, and although Liverpool only needed 2,790 minutes to get the job done, some parts were clearly more important than others.
And perhaps the most vital 10 minutes happened on the same day that the two title contenders played simultaneously – Saturday, November 2.
The fanatics among you may know where this is going, but first, a little context.
At the start of the day, Liverpool led with nine wins and a draw out of their 10 games. City was six points behind, having unexpectedly lost to Norwich City and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
It would be a key day, full of surprises.
For starters, the top two teams were both hanging out at halftime, which Liverpool have only done three times this season. And with five minutes to go, City had equalized but the Reds were still losing.
Indeed, this particular match saw Liverpool’s longest deficit in the Premier League season, when they dragged 66 minutes in total.
They were still behind when Kyle Walker gave City an 86th minute lead at home over Southampton.
The league table “in play” showed that the champions were shooting within three points of Klopp’s team, with the two teams facing off at Anfield the following Sunday.
As it stands, Pep Guardiola could have equalized at the top if he had won his next game.
But unfortunately for the Spaniard, the Reds scored twice – Pep and twice; he was the defining image and the most shared meme of the season.
If you still haven’t figured it out, here’s what happened.
Liverpool is Premier League champion
Liverpool were at Villa Park, and late goals from Andy Robertson and Sadio Mane saw them snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat. Klopp’s team kept their six-point advantage and then beat City in their next game to make it nine.
He has never been lower than that in the 19 weeks since the match.
So, while a campaign is made up of countless important moments, key backups and vital objectives, it is difficult to oppose the period between 4:40 p.m. and 4:50 p.m. on the first Saturday in November 2019 as being the decisive 10 minutes of this unforgettable. season.