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The wait of a lifetime is finally over and after thirty years since their league title, Liverpool have finally got their hands on Number 19.
The Reds’ resurgence under Jurgen Klopp has been truly remarkable with this, their first Premier League title, coming a little over 12-months after getting their hands on a sixth European Cup in Madrid.
Reds everywhere will be overjoyed to have gotten their hands on the prize they’ve craved most since 1990, especially since at one stage the Covid-19 crisis threatened to derail Liverpool’s relentless romp to the title. That coronavirus is still with us means that fans sadly won’t be able to celebrate quite the way they’d like but we’ve no doubt that the partying will go on long into the summer.
In a season where no-one ever really looked like get close to them, Liverpool players have impressed right across the park, with standout seasons from Alisson, Van Dijk, Alexander-Arnold, Henderson, Mane & Salah in particular. Here we take a look back at six key games in Liverpool’s march to the Premier League title.
With their 100% league record still intact, The Reds welcomed to Anfield a Leicester team led by former chief, Brendan Rodgers. A typically cool Sadio Mane finish from a magnificent Milner through-ball gave Liverpool the edge on 40-minutes, after a tightly contested first half.
Liverpool squandered a couple of gilt-edged changes through Firmino and Mane in the second half, before James Maddison drew The Foxes level in the 80th minute with a strike that Red’s stand-in keeper Adrian should have done better with. With the clock ticking down, it looked as though Liverpool’s perfect start would be ended. Sadio Mane was in no mood for that though and, after getting his 50th Premier League goal in a red shirt in the first-half, he drew Jonny Evans into a clumsy foul inside the box, winning a stoppage time penalty. Up stepped Mr. Reliable himself, James Milner, to slot away a 95th minute winner from the spot, maintaining Liverpool’s perfect start and extended their lead at the top of the table to 8-points over Man City, having played a game more.
Despite being so early in the season, this fixture already had the look of one that might go a long way to deciding the destination of the league title, as top of the table Liverpool hosted reigning champions Manchester City. Any pre-match nerves were quickly alleviated , after a thumping goal of the season contender from Brazilian Fabinho gave the home side a lead after only 6-minutes. A potential handball in the build up from Trent Alexander-Arnold was reviewed and went in The Red’s favour and LiVARpool (as christened by the cry-arsers) were on the march. Liverpool’s lead was doubled before the 15-minute mark, when Mo Salah’s got on the end of an Andy Robertson cross to score a brilliantly improvised header past a bewildered Bravo. Adrian made a smart save from Aguero before Angelino hit the upright to see Liverpool go into the break with a two-goal cushion. Their lead was quickly extended in the second half, when that man Mane got on the end of a deep Jordan Henderson cross to nod home and put the Reds out of sight. Bernardo Silva pulled a goal back for City on 78 before another half-hearted handball appeal saw Guardiola’s ‘twice!!’ Meltdown go viral on Twitter. A marker had been laid down and Liverpool were now 9 points clear of The Citizen’s who were now in third place.
Kopites got to wish ‘Merry Christmas, Everton’ a la Shakin’ Stevens again, in what seemed to be about the 10th consecutive season we’d given them a festive walloping. A wonderful take and finish from arch-Everton tormentor Divock Origi gave the home side the lead on 6-minutes, before more fantastic work from Sadio Mane down the left set up Xherdan Shaqiri for The Reds’ second after 17-minutes. Michael Keane had the temerity to pull one back for The Toffee’s before Big Div quickly put them back in their place with an absolute worldy past ol’ T-Rex arms Jordan Pickford. The magnificent Mane got a fourth on the stroke of half-time with a well-placed left footed finish from the edge of the box, before we let Richardson pull one back in first half stoppage time to make Evertonian’s think they still had a chance. Mane missed a good opportunity when clear through on goal after the restart, before Liverpool’s Number 5 scored number 5 with a beautifully curled effort on 90-minutes. It was to be the end for Marco Silva’s tenure as Everton boss, whilst Klopp’s men moved to a remarkable 43-points after only 15 games played.
On their first Premier League match since returning from their trip to Qatar for the FIFA Club World Cup, Liverpool lived up to their new title as the best club team in the world with a 4-0 demolition of second-placed Leicester City at their own ground.
Scouse icon Trent Alexander-Arnold put on a masterclass, dominating the game from right back. The West Derby lad put a perfect ball on to the head of Roberto Firmino after half an hour, much to the relief of travelling Reds who’d seen good chances missed by Mane and Salah in the opening exchanges. Milner tightened Liverpool’s grip with a penalty on 71, after a handball by Soynucu, setting off a flurry of TAA inspired goals within the following 7-minutes. The youngster first picked out Firmino again with a delightful low cross, which was expertly finished by the Brazilian. Not satisfied with his two assists, Trent would get on the end of a Mane pass to lash the ball home low from the edge of the box to mark a truly exceptional perforce and send his team 13-points clear at the top.
Perhaps the game that made Liverpool fans truly belief that the Premier League title was destined to be theirs, this victory saw The Reds rack up a 13th consecutive win and move 16-points clear of second-placed City with a game in hand.
A pinpoint corner from Alexander-Arnold was met by the head of Van Dijk to give Liverpool the lead on 14-minutes. VAR made a dubious intervention to rule out a stunning Firmino strike on 25-minutes but Liverpool were well in control of the game and playing some beautiful stuff. Gini Wijnaldum had a goal ruled out for offside after great play by Oxlade-Chamberlain on the 35-minute mark and The Reds would go in with just the one goal advantage at the break. More chances came and went for Liverpool after the restart but the game was finally secured when Salah latched on to a wonderful pick out from Alisson and put on the afterburners before finishing cooly under De Gea. Mo stripped to his skin to celebrate and now you were gonna believe us.
Derby’s at Goodison usually end up being a bit of a snooze fest so it was inevitable this would finish 0-0. With no fans at Goodison, the game was seriously subdued and moments of note were few and far between, making for possibly the dullest derby in living memory. Everton sprang to life after the introduction of Dejan Lovren for Liverpool on 73-minutes and could have stolen it late on but, in truth, the game itself didn’t really matter.
What did matter was that the footy was back after the Covid-19 enforced break and the null and void brigade would finally have to accept that Liverpool’s march to title number 19 (first since the introduction of the Premier League) was inescapable.
So stick your asterisk where the sun don’t shine. Liverpool are the champions and no-one can argue that we didn’t deserve it. The Reds have been phenomenal from start to finish and look every inch a truly great Premier League team and one that could well go on to win it again next season under Jurgen Klopp’s stewardship.
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