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Liverpool’s hopes of retaining the Premier League title are all but over after their 4-1 demolition at the hands of Manchester City on Sunday.
The defending champions were put to the sword by Pep Guardiola’s side, who are now ten points clear at the top of the table.
The Reds are now looking behind them in the table and are at risk of missing out on a top four place.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have picked up 40 points from 23 Premier League games, but this time last season they had 67.
But where do they match up compared to champions in previous years?
Manchester City, who won the title in the 2017/18 season with 100 points, finished the following year with 98 points and retained their title by just one point ahead of Liverpool.
But not every title-winner has been as successful in retaining their crown.
For three years on the bounce, the Premier League title-winners failed to retain their title.
Chelsea’s last title defence under Jose Mourinho was one of the worst in Premier League history.
Unlike Liverpool, they didn’t have a global pandemic or any serious injuries to blame for their collapse.
Mourinho was fired a few months after they lifted the title, replaced by Guus Hiddink.
At the same point in the season as Liverpool are at now, Chelsea had just 28 points and finished the season with just 50 – in tenth place.
Leicester City 2015-16
Leicester City, who provided one of the biggest surprises in football history by winning the title in 2016, collapsed completely in the following season as they attempted to juggle a title defence with Champions League football.
After 23 games, the Foxes were dwindling in 17th place with just 21 points and had fired Claudio Ranieri.
They ended up finishing in 12th place with 44 points – just four more than Liverpool have already managed this season.
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Chelsea won their title back from Leicester just a year later, with N’Golo Kante helping the Blues to the crown after joining from the Foxes.
Antonio Conte’s side struggled out the blocks and finished fifth in the table – missing out on Champions League football.
However, they were able to win the FA Cup, and had 47 points from their first 23 games – more than Liverpool at this stage.
Manchester United 2013-14
Manchester United were always going to struggle after Sir Alex Ferguson left the club, but few expected them to drop off as heavily as they did.
The Red Devils hired David Moyes as their new manager and struggled immediately, firing the Scotsman before the end of his first season.
Having won the title in Ferguson's last year, they finished the next season in seventh place – missing out on European football entirely having amassed just 64 points.
Manchester City 2015-16
Manchester City struggled in their final season pre-Guardiola.
They announced midway through the campaign that Guardiola would be joining them, and the cloud of expectation was clearly hanging over them as they stumbled to a fourth place finish.
In the end, 66 points were enough to secure Champions League football, but Liverpool face a bigger task in defending their crown this year.
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Blackburn Rovers 1996-97
After producing a surprise campaign to win the Premier League title, Blackburn were well behind the pace in their title defence.
Kenny Dalglish left the managerial role in order to move into a director of football position, and Rovers struggled as a result.
Alan Shearer's 31 goals won him the Golden Boot, but that was their only joy as they limped to a 13th-place finish.
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- Liverpool FC
- Manchester City FC
- Premier League
- Jurgen Klopp
- Pep Guardiola
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