Never say never: 5 times hefty title deficits have been overturned
Shaun Botterill / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Blink and you'll miss it. Like a swift Liverpool counterattack that results in a backbreaking goal, the Premier League title race has changed in a hurry.

Projected to become the first side to repeat as title winners in a decade, Manchester City's hopes of replicating last season's historic campaign were dealt a pair of massive blows in a five-day window that witnessed distressing defeats to Crystal Palace and Leicester City.

Thursday's frenetic victory versus Liverpool means City now sit just four points adrift of the Merseyside frontrunners, though it very easily could've been a 10-point gap. Again, how quickly things can change.

Either way, larger deficits have been overturned in quarters far more cramped than the 17 matches left on this season's slate. Here's a look at five of them:

5. Manchester City (2013-14)

Most famously remembered for Steven Gerrard's fateful slip against Chelsea and Demba Ba's ensuing goal, the 2013-14 offering saw the Blues claim a nine-point advantage on Liverpool after 29 matches. Manuel Pellegrini's City sat fourth with three games in hand at the same juncture before winning their last five fixtures to stave off the Reds' 11-match unbeaten run to end the season.

Manchester City FC / Manchester City FC / Getty
Pos. Team GD PTS.
1 Manchester City +65 86
2 Liverpool +51 84
3 Chelsea +44 82
4 Arsenal +27 79

Intriguing item: City and Liverpool both scored 100 or more goals, establishing the first time two teams have surpassed the mark in the same Premier League season.

4. Manchester United (2002-03)

Back when the Premier League was a perennial two-horse race between Manchester United and Arsenal, the former won their eighth title in 11 years courtesy of a dazzling 18-match unbeaten run from December on. That helped Sir Alex Ferguson's side overturn an eight-point gap from the first week of March as the Gunners lost against Bolton from a winning position before conceding the title with a 3-2 defeat to Leeds United.

Phil Noble - PA Images / PA Images / Getty
Pos. Team GD PTS.
1 Manchester United +40 83
2 Arsenal +43 78
3 Newcastle United +15 69
4 Chelsea +30 67

Intriguing item: Ruud van Nistelrooy led United with 25 league goals, with an astonishing 17 of those coming during the 18-match unbeaten run to finish the season. Decent return, that.

3. Arsenal 1997-98

Arsene Wenger's first full season in charge of Arsenal saw the Gunners become the second team to win "The Double" for a second time as the Frenchman became the first foreign-born manager to win the Premier League. Despite losing their final two matches, Arsenal overcame an 11-point deficit to United over the last nine matches, including a massive 1-0 victory over the Red Devils at Old Trafford.

John Marsh - EMPICS / PA Images / Getty
Pos. Team GD PTS.
1 Arsenal +35 78
2 Manchester United +47 77
3 Liverpool +26 65
4 Chelsea +28 63

2. Manchester City (2011-12)

Martin Tyler's indelible "Aguerooooooo" goal call capped off the most bewitching final matchday in Premier League history as City captured a first top-flight title in 44 years, but it's often forgotten how Roberto Mancini's lot got there. Eight points back of rival Manchester United with nine to play, City won their last six matches - including a narrow 1-0 derby over the Red Devils - while outscoring opponents 18-3 over that stretch.

Manchester City FC / Manchester City FC / Getty
Pos. Team GD PTS.
1 Manchester City +64 89
2 Manchester United +56 89
3 Arsenal +25 70
4 Tottenham +25 69

Intriguing item: The 2011-12 title was the first in Premier League history to be decided by goal differential as City overturned a 10-goal deficit to United over the last half-dozen matches. Also, Mario Balotelli's assist on the Aguero goal was the only one the Italian registered in 70 league appearances.

1. Manchester United 1995-96

Nearing a first top-flight trophy since 1927, Kevin Keegan's Newcastle were 12 points up on United in January before bottling it in March. "The Entertainers" saw a tenuous grip on the title slip away before Keegan famously offered "I'll tell you, you can tell him now (Ferguson) if you're watching it, we're still fighting for this title, and he's got to go to Middlesbrough and get something, and...and...I'll tell you, honestly, I will love it if we beat them. Love it." On Matchday 38, the Red Devils topped Boro 3-0, while the Magpies drew 1-1 with Spurs. Silverware sorted.

Adam Butler - PA Images / PA Images / Getty
Pos. Team GD PTS.
1 Manchester United +38 82
2 Newcastle United +29 78
3 Liverpool +36 71
4 Aston Villa +17 63

Intriguing item: United became the first Premier League side not to lose a home fixture, a record that has since been matched on two other occasions by the club. It was also the debut campaign for homegrown talents Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Nicky Butt, and the Neville brothers, Gary and Phil.

Never say never: 5 times hefty title deficits have been overturned
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