Xabi Alonso's six-word reason for why Liverpool didn't win the Premier League in 2009

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At this moment in time, the Premier League title race looks as predictable as it has ever been, with Manchester City already 11 points clear at the top.

Pep Guardiola's side have won 15 of their 16 games this season, with the trophy virtually in their hands already and we haven't even reached Christmas.

However, back in 2009, the race for top spot was one of the most enticing, with bitter northern rivals Liverpool and Manchester United battling for glory.

Rafael Benitez's team played some outstanding football and for large parts of the season, they were favourites.

Xabi Alonso, Javier Mascherano, Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres were all there and their late surge to the top was all put into motion by a 4-1 victory over United at Old Trafford in March.

But, Sir Alex Ferguson's men would get the business done and Alonso has a very interesting theory for why he and the others just couldn't deliver.

It's a response that should certainly spark some debate.


"We lacked that one special player," he admitted during an interview in Spain.

Liverpool's English midfielder Steven Ge

Now, surely Liverpool at that time possessed arguably the finest midfielder in world football in Gerrard? With Torres also renowned as possibly the best striker?

Surely, they were special enough?

"We had an excellent squad but when it came to unlocking defences with flair, we just didn't have that player," Alonso continued.

"In the Champions League though, we competed like our lives depended on it."

Liverpool v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League

Liverpool's elimination from the Champions League that season came at the hands of Chelsea, with the Blues emerging victorious in a thrilling quarter-final tie which ended 7-5 on aggregate.

Alonso also discussed Guardiola's impact on the latter stages of his career during their time together at Bayern Munich and how he helped him cope physically.

"At Bayern we played in the opponents' half for 90 minutes," he confirmed."I didn't have to cover that much distance and I held my position.

"This was incredible for me and I actually learnt a lot."


To be fair, he was always the perfect player for Guardiola's system, one which helped Bayern become dominant in Germany.

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Alex Ferguson
Manchester United
Xabi Alonso
Steven Gerrard
Premier League
Fernando Torres

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