Premier League: The five most humiliating guards of honour ahead of Liverpool win

  • Kobe Tong

Liverpool are on the brink of winning their first ever Premier League trophy, have you heard?

The Reds breathed a massive sigh of relief when it was confirmed that the 2019/20 season would be resumed this month and they're now just two points away from getting their hands on the trophy.

The only question remains: when will Liverpool sow up the accolade? It's a question that has been made all the more ambiguous by Jurgen Klopp's men dropping points with a 0-0 draw at Everton.

They reverted back to normal with a 4-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace on Wednesday evening, but it now comes down to Manchester City's trip to Chelsea to see whether tonight will be the night.

In truth, though, it's a win-win scenario for Liverpool because they'll either have the chance to win the league at the Etihad Stadium or the City squad may have to give them a 'guard of honour' there.

Premier League guards of honour

The latter, of course, is something of a tradition in England's top tier as a show of respect towards the team that been crowned champions of the land if they've secured the title ahead of time.

You can guarantee that Liverpool fans would get a lot of pleasure out of Pep Guardiola and co standing aside, biting their tongue, as the champions from Merseyside took to the pitch.

And if that is indeed the case after tonight's action at Stamford Bridge, we wanted to give Kopites an indication of the satisfaction ahead of time by looking at some of the best, previous examples.


So, prepare to cringe and chuckle in equal measure as we unveil the six most humiliating guards of honour to have ever graced the Premier League:

1. Manchester United for Chelsea (2004/05)

We're out of the blocks with an absolute classic. Sir Alex Ferguson was actually a big instigator behind this show of respect, though the sight of Jose Mourinho and his squad strutting on to their pitch must have wounded him deep down.

The fact Chelsea then came from 1-0 down to emerge 3-1 victors at Old Trafford only added to the humiliation.

Per the Telegraph, Fergie said afterwards: "When, on May 10, 2005, we assembled a guard of honour for Chelsea, the new champions, at our ground, I had no intention of surrendering to Abramovich’s wealth in the months to come."

In actual fact, it would take two years, but speaking of which...

2. Chelsea for Manchester United (2006/07)

Sweet revenge. United got their own back on Chelsea a couple of seasons later when they wrestled back the Premier League title from Stamford Bridge and made them acknowledge it in west London.

Mourinho must have been seething at the sight of this happening on his own turf, especially when Fergie decided to field Fangzhou Dong, Chris Eagles and Kieran Lee in his starting XI.

It certainly got the point across and Chelsea couldn't overcome the weakened United side in a goalless draw.

3. Arsenal for Manchester United (2012/13)

We think this is the best of the best, not going to lie. Arsenal were nowhere near the title race during the 2012/13 season, but this was all about Robin van Persie, who had left the club the previous summer.

Not only did this mark his first return to the Emirates since breaking every Gooner's heart, but the players were forced to give him and the United squad a guard of honour for an accolade they couldn't deliver for him.

While Arsenal did manage to avoid defeat in a 1-1 draw, the embarrassing event was compounded by the fact Van Persie scored United's goal from the penalty spot.

4. Liverpool for Chelsea (2014/15)

What a difference a year makes. Chelsea and Liverpool had been scrapping it out for the 2013/14 title that eventually ended up at City and led to THAT game at Anfield where Steven Gerrard made a goal-costing slip.

Fast forward to the season in question and Liverpool were nowhere near the title race, instead being forced to applaud the Chelsea side that had once again mugged them off by winning a third league crown under Mourinho.

Gerrard was openly mocked by the Chelsea fans with reminders of his slip, though he did manage to save face by scoring one of his final Liverpool goals in a - you guessed it - draw.

“The negative song only shows respect, nothing other than respect,” the Liverpool skipper famously said. “It’s like a negative song to a dear enemy. The applause was special, Stamford Bridge was special.

5. Chelsea for Leicester City (2015/16)

Is this the tamest one of the lot? Ok, maybe, but Chelsea were forced to give a guard of honour to the team that had stolen their title in a season where they dramatically imploded and finished tenth.

On the one hand, you could say celebrating Claudio Ranieri's miracle achievement with Leicester was a lovely moment for the club. On the other hand, it added insult to injury in their worst season of the Roman Abramovich era.

The score...? Could it be a draw perhaps? Yup, another one. It finished 1-1 with Danny Drinkwater - just to make things worse for Chelsea in hindsight - scoring Leicester's goal on the day.

Can Liverpool do it to Man City?

Oof. If that doesn't get Liverpool fans behind Chelsea tonight then we don't know what will.

Guardiola has already become the butt of many jokes at Anfield and screenshots of him reluctantly clapping his conquerers will be doing the rounds of social media for years if it happens.

Ultimately, that very scenario is out of Liverpool hand's, but humiliating the Citizens one away or another at the Etihad is well within their grasps.

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