2020: A season that will live long in the football history books for many reasons. But on Merseyside, it will always be remembered as the year the wait finally ended. Here, we remember three key games that helped win Liverpool the Premier League title.
Conquering the Giant
10 November 2019, Liverpool 3-1 Manchester City, Anfield
A top-of-the-table clash between champions and champions-elect. As the old saying goes: to be the best, you have to beat the best. And Liverpool did just that.
Five minutes in, and Jurgen Klopp’s men were already in front, as Man of the Match Fabinho struck a 25-yard rocket past a helpless Claudio Bravo. A mere seven minutes later, and it was two: Mo Salah on the end of Robertson’s teasing ball in. By the time Sadio Mane added a third just after half-time, the battle, and in many ways the war, was done and dusted.
This win gave Liverpool an eight-point cushion at the top of the table, and a nine-point lead over City. Even at this early stage, it seemed unlikely that Liverpool would falter at all, nevermind significantly. In the end, it would take another sixteen games, and almost four months, before the Reds dropped any points whatsoever.
A Late Christmas Present
26 December 2019, Leicester City 0-4 Liverpool, The King Power Stadium
On Boxing Day, the Reds faced arguably their biggest test of the season thus far. Their opponents Leicester City were second in the table, with a goal difference almost identical to Liverpool’s. In addition, Klopp’s first team had spent the week leading up to Christmas in the Middle East, contesting the FIFA Club World Cup.
Tired legs, jet lag, a Christmas hangover and a young, free-flowing Leicester side were all possible stumbling blocks for Liverpool on December 26th. Instead, they provided probably their most dominant display of the entire season. A masterclass from England right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, who assisted all of the first three goals before slotting a fourth past Kasper Schmeichel, ensured that on New Years Day, whatever happened in the meantime, Liverpool would enjoy a double-digits lead at the top of the Premier League table.
Edge of Glory
24 June 2020, Liverpool 4-0 Crystal Palace, Anfield
The worldwide coronavirus had temporarily pressed pause on Liverpool’s inevitable title celebrations, but the Reds held no prisoners in the first game back at Anfield under “Project Restart”. Even before an empty Kop, Liverpool’s offensive play against Crystal Palace was as clinical as ever.
Without the pandemic, Liverpool would probably have won the title as early as mid-March. As it turned out, June 25th would be the historic date it finally became official; this win over Palace meant Manchester City were required to beat Chelsea the following day in order to keep the title race mathematically alive. City failed in their task, and in the process, Liverpool became simultaneously both the latest (by calendar) and earliest (by games played) team to ever win the Premier League title.