30 years of hurt finally over as Liverpool confirmed as Premier League Champions.
It has been a matter of when, not if Liverpool would be crowned 2019/20 Premier League Champions, even before lockdown. Wednesday’s 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Anfield put Liverpool on the brink, with their position confirmed after Manchester City lost 2-1 away at Chelsea on Thursday evening.
When Liverpool last won the league in 1990, their third title in five years, few could imagine that it would take 11,016 days for them to lift the title again. Eight managers have been and gone since Kenny Daglish last guided Liverpool to the English League title and in Jurgen Klopp, the Kop faithful have found themselves a manager that will go down in history as one of their greatest ever.
In his first press conference after being announced as Liverpool manager way back in October 2015, Klopp stated that within four seasons he expected to win one title. It was a lofty target for a side that had fallen from such great heights and was in serious need of a rebuild, sitting in 10th place when Klopp was appointed. Fast forward to present day and Klopp has without doubt restored a fallen giant. Since his appointment, Liverpool have now won the Premier League for the first time in 30 years, the Champions League for the first time since 2005, the European Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup for the first time in the history of the club.
After the agony of missing out to Manchester City by just one point last season, Klopp’s side have gone from strength to strength. With confirmation of their title triumph, Liverpool have become the earliest side to be crowned champions in Premier League history, securing the title with 7 games to spare, bettering arch-rivals Manchester United’s previous record of having 5 games to spare. They have not lost a home league match in 1129 days, with an imperious record this season of 28 victories, 2 draws and just 1 defeat from their 31 games so far.
Since Klopp took charge, there have been many vintage Anfield nights for Liverpool. From the stirring comeback against Klopp’s former side Borussia Dortmund to advance from the Europa League quarter-finals in 2016, to the stunning 4-0 victory over Barcelona in last season’s Champions League semi-final. November saw Liverpool secure a 3-1 victory over Manchester City in a match that set them on the path to glory this season, as Klopp’s side continued to dismantle their opponents with gleeful abandon.
It is a side that has been shaped and moulded by Klopp over the last four seasons to suit his vision of ‘heavy metal football.’ In Alisson, they have arguably the best goalkeeper in the world, with the calming presence of the unshakeable Virgil Van Dijk in defence, alongside Joe Gomez, a young English talent who continues to display maturity beyond his years. Up front, Liverpool’s front three is one of the most potent and feared in the world. Many pundits were unsure when Klopp spent £34 million on Sadio Mane back in 2016. But, alongside Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah, he has gone from strength to strength. The talented front-three has scored 188 league goals between them under Klopp, firing their side towards glory.
Captained by Jordan Henderson, a player previous manager Brendan Rodgers had tried to sell in 2012, his leadership and unseen work around the pitch embodies the unwavering determination to succeed that Klopp has managed to foster during his tenure. Fullbacks Andy Robertson and Liverpudlian Trent Alexander-Arnold cost the club a combined £8 million yet have become two of the most talented fullbacks in world football.
With 7 games of the season still to go, starting with a trip to previous champions Manchester City, Liverpool’s immediate focus will be to continue to push for results. 15 points from the remaining 21 will see Liverpool break the all-time league points tally currently held by Pep Guardiola’s side, with the opportunity next season to push for further honours.
For now though, it is time for Liverpool fans to enjoy the moment, as 30 long years of waiting have finally come to an end.