THE long road travelled finally ended in delight for Liverpool, bringing with it an end to The Reds’ 30-year-long wait for the Premier League title. Jürgen Klopp’s men romped to their success after thrashing Crystal Palace 4-0 at Anfield on Thursday night.
Despite no fans being allowed into the stadium due to the UK government’s strict coronavirus protocols, a certain palpable punch of excitement filled the air as Liverpool fans the world over celebrated the inevitable; indeed it had been just a matter of time. Making the Liverpool dream possible on the night, asides from the said club’s own victory, was the other tie which played out on the night, at Stamford Bridge, between Manchester City and Chelsea.
The former, and the then-defending Premier League champions, needed to beat Chelsea to hold off Liverpool title celebrations for just a moment longer. However, as fate would have it on the day, Pep Guardiola’s men were unable to pull this off, instead, losing 2-1 to a Blues side pushing its own agenda – a Champions League placement.
The result means that Liverpool, who are on 86 points, have captured the league title with seven league matches to spare. Also, as is a fact not long disposed into the annals of history, is Merseyside club added another piece of silverware to its trophy cabinet after storming to their maiden FIFA Club World Cup title, winning the final 1–0 after extra time against Flamengo on December 21, 2019, at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.
Forward Mo Salah, who slotted in Liverpool’s second goal on the cusp of the halftime break after chesting down and clinically converting Fabinho’s delightful chipped through ball, said that now it is Liverpool’s “time to win the league” after falling short last season. “Two points to go to win the league, it’s great,” the Liverpool star told Sky Sports. “Since I came here, I said I want to win the Premier League. The city did not win it for a long time.
Last year, we had a chance but Man City also played really well and deserved it. It’s our time to win the league.” But what did the other man credited with leading Liverpool over the line in this one have to say?
“I have no words,” is what Klopp told Sky Sports. “It’s the best thing I can imagine and more than I could have ever dreamed of. It’s unbelievable. Much more than I ever thought would be possible!” The German manager, wearing a Liverpool shirt during his interview, added in an emotional tone: “Becoming champions with this club is absolutely incredible. It is an incredible achievement from my players … and a pure joy for me to coach them.”
Guardiola had his own message of congratulations to pass to the Merseyside club following their season-long dominance of the league. “Congratulations to Liverpool, they have won it. Champions League qualification, we are in a good position so the FA Cup becomes important. We have three or four academy players on the bench,” he said before the match, defending his own side’s failure to defend the title.
Liverpool, having won the Champions League last season under Klopp, can now turn their attention to beating City’s Premier League record of 100 points in a campaign. This will require the champions to be victorious in five of their remaining seven matches. “Liverpool have played an incredible season. Well deserved,” added Guardiola.
Two seasons ago we were 100 points and they finished more than 25 points behind. Last season they didn’t recover the distance and this season they went the distance. We have to learn from this season and improve for the next one.”
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