Dominance and plenty of late winners: The games that defined Liverpool’s march to glory

Written by Debkalpa Banerjee

Published: June 26, 2020 1:46:54 pm

Liverpool clinched the Premier League title for the primary time since 1990. (Source: Reuters)

After many years of near-misses, mid-table finishes, and agonising humiliation by the hands of the rivals, Liverpool are lastly the champions of England. Ending a 30-year drought, Liverpool clinched their 19th domestic league title when the ultimate whistle went at Stamford Bridge on Thursday.

What began on August 9 with a win in opposition to Norwich City ended with Liverpool profitable the title thanks to 22-point lead over Manchester City with seven matches in hand. Over the course of the season, the Reds broke data with an aura of sheer willpower and doggedness.

Having received 28 matches, drawing two and dropping only one to Watford, Jürgen Klopp‘s ‘mentality monsters’ made historical past by dominating their opponents and sometimes with the late-winners.

Weathering the obstacles posed by tough opponents like Chelsea (2-1), Sheffield United (1-0), Leicester City (2-1), Manchester United (1-1), and Tottenham Hotspur (2-1), Liverpool maintained their unbeaten run for 10 matches earlier than visiting Villa Park. The Reds had already proven their resolve by profitable factors by way of the late winners/equalisers, and when all appeared misplaced, they relied on the identical in opposition to Aston Villa.

After trailing for nearly the complete match, Liverpool turned the desk on its head as Andrew Robertson scored a header within the 87th minute to cancel out Trezeguet’s 21-minute opener. Dean Smith’s males parked the bus quickly after within the hope of getting some extent, however Sadio Mane emerged tallest within the 94th minute to win the match with a glancing header within the far-post.

Fabinho opened the scoring for Liverpool in opposition to Manchester City with a 25-yard scorcher. (Source: Reuters)

Welcoming the reigning champions led by the indomitable Pep Guardiola was by no means going to be a simple process for the 2018/19 runners-up, however Liverpool confirmed their mettle from the beginning itself. Manchester City have been on their toes after 11 matches, however they have been pushed again when Fabinho scored from 25-yards out within the sixth minute.

After that, barring a controversial penalty name that went Liverpool’s method, the six-time UEFA Champions League winners dominated the game, profitable the ball and urgent City in key areas.  Mohamed Salah doubled the lead with a header off Robertson’s cross within the 13th minute after a trademark counter-attack. In the second half, Sadio Mane tripled the lead with a diving header previous Claudio Bravo within the 51st minute. Although Bernardo Silva scored within the 78th minute, it was not more than a comfort in a misplaced trigger.

Liverpool shifted gears to blow away their opposition once they visited the King Power Stadium to tackle a staff managed by their former supervisor, Brendan Rodgers. Liverpool had simply arrived with the FIFA Club World Cup trophy after a 10-day keep in Doha, Qatar and there have been doubts over whether or not the fixture congestion would have an effect on their performances.

The boys from Anfield utilised every part of their locker that evening and obliterated the then second-placed Foxes, as they opened the scoring within the 31st minute by way of Roberto Firmino. Liverpool’s very personal Trent Alexander-Arnold orchestrated the doom of Leicester City as he scored one and supplied assists for 2 objectives to present precisely why he was nominated for Ballon d’Or. Three objectives within the house of seven minutes in the direction of the top of the match earned Liverpool the title of ‘Champions Elect’.

READ | Jürgen Klopp, the eccentric who put Liverpool back on its perch

Mohamed Salah supplied one of the moments of the season when he scored previous David de Gea after a 60-yard run. (Source: Reuters)

Already boasting a big 14-point lead, Liverpool welcomed the one opponent who had managed to take factors off them within the season — their fierce rivals Manchester United. Back in October, the Red Devils had managed a 1-1 draw in opposition to Liverpool. In that recreation, Adam Lallana had to come off the bench to rating an equaliser for the visiting staff within the 85th minute. The affair at Anfield was completely different.

Right from the beginning, Klopp’s gegenpressing system choked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team and prevented them for stepping into their penalty space. In the 13th minute, the architect on the again, Virgil van Dijk proved his price to the staff when he towered over all opposition defenders and headed the ball house from a corner-kick. Although United saved themselves within the recreation for over an hour after that, the talismanic Mohamed Salah put the ultimate nail within the coffin in type, when he completed previous David de Gea within the 93rd minute after a 60-yard dribble from his personal half.

The pandemic struck the world and the Premier League and the season went into hiatus in mid-March with Liverpool on 82 factors from 29 matches. But contemplating Klopp’s males had been handed their first defeat by Watford, and have been knocked out of each UEFA Champions League and FA Cup simply earlier than the lockdown, there have been fears the squad rising from the lockdown would possibly lack their earlier rhythm. The staff’s first match, a goalless draw in opposition to Everton, didn’t assist.

But in opposition to Palace, Liverpool picked issues up from the place they left off and increased their lead over City to 23 points. Alexander-Arnold kicked issues off with a elegant free-kick within the 23rd minute, and from then Liverpool by no means misplaced management. Salah doubled the lead simply earlier than half-time, Fabinho scored yet one more worldie within the 55th minute and Mane scored the fourth in opposition to a hapless Palace within the 69th minute to wrap up the match.

READ | What are the Premier League records Liverpool have broken this season?

Now, all that’s left after profitable the title for Liverpool is to focus on all of the data that they will nonetheless break. With seven matches left, the Reds can break the Premier League factors file, most wins file, and many others.

Liverpool will subsequent go to the Etihad Stadium on July 2 the place they are going to get a guard of honour from the defending champions, Manchester City. But the celebrations are already on in Liverpool and it’s uncertain if they are going to cease earlier than Jordan Henderson lifts the trophy on July 26.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and keep up to date with the most recent headlines

For all the most recent Sports News, obtain Indian Express App.

© IE Online Media Services Pvt Ltd

Source link

About The Author