What happens if Liverpool and Manchester City finish tied on points for first place atop Premier League?

What happens if Liverpool and Manchester City finish tied on points for first place atop Premier League?

Manchester City have a four-point lead over Liverpool atop the Premier League with one week to go in the season, and there is still a scenario that could see the two sides finish level on points at the end of the campaign on May 22.

Title destiny, however, is in Man City’s hands. They can clinch the title with a victory over Aston Villa at home on Sunday. A draw against Aston Villa would present Liverpool with the chance to overtake them if the Reds can win their final two matches (at Southampton and vs. Wolves).

A Liverpool loss at Southampton on Tuesday would give Man City mathematical certainty of repeating as champs, turning the Citizens’ Sunday home game against Aston Villa into a title celebration.

In order for Man City and Liverpool to finish tied atop the Premier League table, Liverpool would need a win and draw in their final two matches (to reach 90 points) and Man City would have to lose its home finale to Aston Villa, leaving it with 90 points.

As outlined on the Premier League’s official website, if two teams finish level on points, then goal difference will determine the winner, with goals scored being the second criteria applied, if necessary.

And if those two tiebreakers don’t separate the two teams, the title would be shared

The margins could be slim when it comes to the two tiebreakers that would be employed. At present, City have a goal difference of +72, while Liverpool’s is +65. Man City have also scored seven more goals, with 96 compared to Liverpool’s 89.

PlaceTeamPTSGPGDGSNext MatchTitle
1.Man City9037+7296vs. AVL, May 2286%
2.Liverpool8636+6589@ SOU, May 1714%
3.Chelsea7036+4273vs. LEI, May 190%
  • Liverpool run-in (2): @ SOU, vs. WOL
  • Manchester City run-in (1): vs. AVL

Has the Premier League title ever been decided on goal difference?

The Premier League title was memorably decided on goal difference in the 2011-12 season when Sergio Aguero scored a dramatic late winner for Manchester City against QPR.

The victory allowed Manchester City to finish even with rivals Manchester United atop of the table on 89 points. That’s when the tiebreakers kicked in, starting with goal difference, giving Man City the title.

Man City knew going into the final game that as long as they won, it would be tough for Man United to make up the eight-goal gulf in goal difference. As long as Man City won, Man United would then have to win by an unusual number of goals to bridge the gap and that didn’t happen.

Manchester United’s +56 goal difference fell well short of Man City’s +64 goal difference, giving the Citizens their first title in the Premier League era.

With one matchday left in the 2021-22 Premier League season, Manchester City (+72) has the edge over Liverpool (+65) when it comes to the first tiebreaker (goal difference).

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Has the Premier League title ever been shared?

The Premier League title has never been shared, but should two teams finish with the same number of points, goal difference, and goals scored, then they would share the trophy.

It’s not outlandish it could happen given the fact that both Manchester City and Liverpool are close on both tiebreakers, including the goals scored department (96 goals by City and 89 scored by Liverpool).

In addition to the 2011-2012 scenario which saw the two Manchester teams finish even on points, the Premier League has seen five seasons in which the title was decided by a single point. Manchester United were involved in four of them:

Premier League seasons decided by one point

  • 2018-19: 1st – Manchester City (98 pts), 2nd – Liverpool (97 pts) 
  • 2009-10: 1st – Chelsea (86 pts), 2nd – Man United (85 pts)
  • 1998-99: 1st – Man United (79 pts), 2nd – Arsenal (78 pts)
  • 1997-98: 1st – Arsenal (78 pts), 2nd – Man United (77 pts)
  • 1994-95: 1st – Blackburn (89 pts), 2nd – Man United (88 pts)

Premier League champion prize money

According to Forbes, there is a formula for splitting up the pool of revenue collected by the Premier League from domestic and international TV rights fees.  

The Premier League’s TV money is a major source of income for the division’s clubs. Teams that finish higher up the table, or whose games are broadcast more often, receive a greater share of money. 

Half of the total pool is shared evenly among all 20 Premier League clubs. Another 25 percent is divvied up to each team based on how many times their matches were broadcast live on TV in the UK.

The remaining 25 percent of the total pool is disbursed as “merit” payments, which are determined based on where a team finishes in the standings.