Salah Keeps Liverpool’s Record Chase On Track

A NHS badge is dislayed on the shirt of Liverpool's Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Liverpool at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on July 8, 2020. (Photo by Catherine Ivill / POOL / AFP)
A NHS badge is dislayed on the shirt of Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Liverpool at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on July 8, 2020. (Photo by Catherine Ivill / POOL / AFP)

 

 

Liverpool remained on course for a Premier League record points tally thanks to two goals from Mohamed Salah to win 3-1 at Brighton on Wednesday.

The English champions move onto 92 points with three wins from their final four games enough to break Manchester City’s record of 100 points from two seasons ago.

Jurgen Klopp’s men were quick off the mark with two goals in the first eight minutes to end a run of five games without a goal away from home either side of the coronavirus shutdown.

Brighton’s desire to play out from the back has been one of the hallmarks of Graham Potter’s first season in charge and the Seagulls look certain to meet their target of staying in the division with a nine-point cushion over the bottom three.

But the hosts were twice caught out by Liverpool’s press to leave themselves too much to do despite another promising performance.

Salah remained in the hunt for a third Golden Boot in as many seasons as a Liverpool player as he slotted home Naby Keita’s cross to open the scoring.

Two minutes later the Reds robbed possession again in the Brighton half and after Salah was held up, Henderson curled home a brilliant shot into the far corner for a rare goal in an inspirational season for the Liverpool captain.

Rather than letting the floodgates open, Brighton showed impressive resolve to then take the game to their illustrious visitors.

Neco Williams made a brilliant block on his first Premier League start to deny Leandro Trossard a quick reply before Alisson Becker saved from Neal Maupay.

Brighton got their reward just before half-time when Trossard connected sweetly with Tariq Lamptey’s cross to halve the deficit.

Dan Burn wasted a huge opportunity to bring the hosts level after the break as he failed to hit the target with the goal gaping.

Salah was more clinical when he headed home Andy Robertson’s cross at the near post for his 19th Premier League goal of the season to move within three of Jamie Vardy in the race for the Golden Boot.

But the Egyptian then missed two big chances in stoppage time for his third Liverpool hat-trick and to further cut Vardy’s lead at the top of the scoring charts as Mat Ryan flicked his first effort over the bar before Salah headed over with the final touch of the game.

 

 

AFP

EPL: Liverpool Leave It Late To See Off Aston Villa

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Liverpool’s Senegalese striker Sadio Mane (L) celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Aston Villa at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on July 5, 2020. Shaun Botterill / POOL / AFP

 

Sadio Mane and Curtis Jones struck in the final 20 minutes to ensure Liverpool marked their first match at Anfield since being crowned Premier League champions with a 2-0 win over struggling Aston Villa on Sunday.

After a 4-0 humbling at the hands of Manchester City in midweek, Jurgen Klopp’s men again failed to hit the heights that made them runaway leaders before a three-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But Mane’s sweet strike off the underside of the bar and Jones’s deflected effort kept up a run of 24 consecutive league wins at Anfield for the Reds and left Villa still languishing in the bottom three.

Klopp has insisted he will not dish out appearances “like Christmas presents” in the final month of the campaign as Liverpool eye a record points tally in English top-flight history.

The German made just three alterations from an embarrassing night at the Etihad on Thursday as Roberto Firmino, Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum dropped out, but all three were needed in the second half after a disappointing first hour.

In front of an empty Anfield, Liverpool struggled to summon their best with the big prize already won and just re-writing the record books to play for.

Villa, by contrast, are still desperate for points in their battle to beat the drop and Dean Smith’s men were left to rue not taking their chances on the counter-attack early in the second half as their winless streak stretched to 10 games.

Pepe Reina was recalled in the Villa goal on his return to Anfield where he spent nine years as a Liverpool player.

However, the Spaniard barely had a save of note to make before half-time as Liverpool struggled to break Villa down.

Indeed, it was Alisson Becker who was the busier goalkeeper as the Brazilian was forced to parry shots from Douglas Luiz, Jack Grealish and Anwar El Ghazi.

Klopp was forced into introducing Henderson, Wijnaldum and Firmino to try and summon a response from his side in the final half hour.

The triple substitution quickly made a difference when Naby Keita picked out Mane to sweep home his 20th goal of the season.

Reina was finally forced into a fine save as he dived to his left to deny Firmino his first goal at Anfield this season.

Another substitute made the game safe a minute from time as 19-year-old Jones saw his effort deflect past the helpless Reina before Alisson produced another stunning save at the other end to deny Grealish a consolation.

Ex-Liverpool Striker Milan Baros Set To Retire At 38

(FILES) In this file photo taken on June 08, 2012 Czech forward Milan Baros controls the ball during the Euro 2012 football championships match Russia vs. Czech Republic at the Municipal stadium in Wroclaw. - Ex-Liverpool striker Milan Baros ends career at 38. (Photo by Daniel MIHAILESCU / AFP)
(FILES) In this file photo taken on June 08, 2012 Czech forward Milan Baros controls the ball during the Euro 2012 football championships match Russia vs. Czech Republic at the Municipal stadium in Wroclaw. – Ex-Liverpool striker Milan Baros ends career at 38. (Photo by Daniel MIHAILESCU / AFP)

 

 

Former Liverpool, Aston Villa and Czech Republic striker Milan Baros said Friday he would call time on his playing career at the end of the season.

“My head would like to go on, but the body has said stop,” the 38-year-old Baros said on Banik Ostrava’s club website.

“I’ve had health issues for a long time and the body doesn’t simply work the way it used to and the way I need,” he added, complaining about his Achilles tendons.

Baros, who also played for Portsmouth, Lyon and Galatasaray, rose to prominence at Euro 2004, a tournament which he finished as the top scorer.

Baros won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005 and ended his international career after Euro 2012, having scored 41 goals in 93 games for the Czech Republic.

 

 

-AFP

Man City Whitewash Premier League Champions Liverpool 4-0

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Liverpool’s Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk (L) and Manchester City’s Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (R) chat on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on July 2, 2020. Manchester City won the game 4-0. PETER POWELL / POOL / AFP

 

Jurgen Klopp admitted Manchester City are the one side capable of “smashing” his newly-crowned Premier League winners after Liverpool’s first match since becoming English champions ended in a 4-0 thrashing at the Etihad.

City sent a warning shot of their intentions to take the title back next season as Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden all struck before half-time to inflict just Liverpool’s third league defeat in 71 games.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s own goal rounded off a miserable night for Klopp’s men, who could have conceded many more in the second half.

The gap at the top of the table between the two remains 20 points, but Liverpool’s charge to better a series of records set by City two seasons ago was stalled on a chastening night for the champions.

“I wanted to see a brilliant attitude and I saw that, the boys were really fighting. Nobody was like ‘hey I am coming here, we don’t care’. We care a lot. That is how it feels, it feels not good and it should not feel like it is,” said Klopp.

“If there is a team in the world that can smash us like this it is probably City but we will come again.”

City began the evening by giving a guard of honour to their opponents, but showed little respect once the action got underway.

“I saw them in the guard of honour and they were so focused, they didn’t even say ‘thank you’. That is why they are champions of Europe and the Premier League,” said City boss Pep Guardiola.

“They drank a lot of beers in the past week but they arrive here without beers in the blood to compete against us.”

The early signs suggested Liverpool would be able to pick off a leaky City defence that has cost them their title.

Mohamed Salah struck the post and Sadio Mane headed wastefully wide as chances came and went for the visitors.

“We had our moments where we were really close to make something,” added Klopp. “They used our mistakes, we didn’t use their mistakes.”

Liverpool’s first big error came when Joe Gomez pulled Sterling to the ground inside the area and De Bruyne converted the resulting penalty.

Sterling was suspended by England manager Gareth Southgate after he squared up to Gomez in the canteen on international duty the day after Liverpool’s 3-1 win over City at Anfield earlier in the season.

– ‘Next season started today’ –

The City forward wisely did his talking on the pitch this time as he scored for the first time in a competitive match against his old side by turning inside Gomez and sending a shot through the defender’s legs as Liverpool were caught on the counter-attack.

“We had a test against the current champions to make a point and we did brilliant,” said Sterling. “Next season started today and we did well.”

Foden has been hugely impressive since the Premier League’s restart from a three-month layoff and the 20-year-old combined with De Bruyne for a brilliant one-two to leave Andy Robertson floundering before lifting the ball over the advancing Alisson Becker to make it 3-0.

But for the Brazilian goalkeeper and some wayward finishing, Liverpool could have been on the end of an embarrassing scoreline early in the second half as Gabriel Jesus fired straight at his international teammate, Sterling saw a shot deflected just wide and Virgil van Dijk cleared off the line from Foden.

There was a touch of fortune when City’s fourth did arrive as Sterling’s shot was heading wide before being turned into his own net by Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Riyad Mahrez had a fifth goal in stoppage time ruled out by a VAR review for handball as City just failed to match the 5-0 scoreline they inflicted on Liverpool at the Etihad in 2017.

But City more than laid down a marker and also showed why they are among the favourites to win the Champions League for the first time when European football returns in August.

Liverpool Criticise Fans For “Unacceptable” Celebrations

Liverpool fans celebrate victory outside Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north west England on June 26, 2020 after Liverpool FC sealed the Premier League title the previous evening. Oli SCARFF / AFP
Liverpool fans celebrate victory outside Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north west England on June 26, 2020 after Liverpool FC sealed the Premier League title the previous evening. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Liverpool on Saturday criticised some of its own fans for “wholly unacceptable” behaviour after they crowded parts of the city to celebrate the team’s first championship in 30 years.

In a joint statement with Merseyside Police and Liverpool City Council, the club condemned supporters who ignored coronavirus social distance guidance to gather at the Pier Head waterfront.

“Our city is still in a public health crisis and this behaviour is wholly unacceptable,” read the statement.

“The potential danger of a second peak of COVID-19 still exists and we need to work together to make sure we don’t undo everything that has been achieved as a region during lockdown.”

Liverpool’s mayor, Joe Anderson, also condemned the scenes, claiming on Twitter they had brought a “negative focus” on the city.

Social media images showed a firework hitting the Liver Bird building, one of the city’s most famous landmarks, during a second night of celebrations on Friday.

Vast amounts of rubbish were cleared by the council on Saturday morning.

Liverpool secured the English Premier League title on Thursday night after their only rivals, Manchester City, lost 2-1 to Chelsea, meaning Liverpool could not be caught.

Prior to the title being won, police and local authorities had warned fans not to gather because of the fear of further spreading the coronavirus.

Police had urged fans to celebrate only with family members as they claimed Liverpool had been “disproportionately affected” by Covid-19.

 

AFP

What Now For Liverpool After Ending Premier League Title Drought?

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This is Liverpool’s first EPL crown in 30 years. Photo: Twitter/Liverpool FC

 

 

Liverpool’s romp to a first league title in 30 years with a record seven games of the season remaining could herald a golden new era for the Reds with Jurgen Klopp at the helm.

Klopp has delivered the holy grail of a long-awaited league title to Anfield, a year after winning the club’s sixth European Cup.

Further records could yet tumble before the season is out, with Liverpool on course for an all-time high Premier League points tally and the biggest-ever margin of victory.

A 23-point gap to Manchester City is all the more remarkable given how Pep Guardiola’s men themselves have raised the bar in recent seasons.

“How is it possible anybody is 20 points ahead of this team?” Klopp himself said after watching City’s 5-0 demolition of Burnley on Monday.

City’s brilliance has pushed Liverpool to new heights.

Even during the trophy-laden 1970s and 80s at Anfield, Liverpool never amassed as many points as they have in losing just two of their past 70 league games.

A 4-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace on Wednesday was a 23rd consecutive Premier League win at home.

“It is not over yet, that’s the good thing,” said an emotional Klopp, who extended his contract until 2024 earlier this season. “The team all look like they have a good few years in their legs.”

The club have also tied down a core group of key players to long contracts over the past two years.

– Legacy –

Wayne Rooney helped win five of Alex Ferguson’s 13 league titles during the Scot’s spell as Manchester United manager and believes Klopp could leave a similar legacy.

“They have huge potential to win more trophies,” Rooney, a former Everton and United captain, begrudgingly admitted in his Sunday Times column.

“Klopp says it’s impossible for any club to dominate like United once did but he is wrong,” added Rooney. “There’s a simple way for Liverpool: let Klopp go on and on.”

City boss Guardiola highlighted Liverpool’s “passion” as the key component his side could not match.

And Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson urged his teammates to remain “hungry” and “keep wanting more” next season.

– More than a two-horse race –

However, plenty of hurdles stand in Liverpool’s way if they are to establish such a spell of dominance, principally City’s reaction to losing their title.

“When we retained the title we were the first for 10 years so you know how difficult it is to do that,” Guardiola warned this week.

As it stands, City will also be banned from European competition for the next two seasons.

Should their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport next month fail it could be a fatal blow in the push to convince Guardiola to stay beyond the end of his contract in 2021, but would also allow City to concentrate their resources on toppling Liverpool domestically.

Unlike the past two seasons, the title race may be more than a two-horse race in 2020/21.

Chelsea’s 2-1 win over City on Thursday was the result that finally crowned Liverpool champions and the Blues have already stated their intention to challenge with the signings of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech.

Manchester United are unbeaten in 13 games, with the January signing of Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes transforming their fortunes.

Other factors such as the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, still scheduled to take place from January 10 to February 8, could also play a huge role in Liverpool’s title defence should Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane be absent for two months in the middle of the season.

The return of the AFCON to the European winter had seen Werner strongly linked with a move to Anfield.

However, the economic fallout from coronavirus meant Liverpool were not willing to commit to meeting the German international’s 60 million euro ($67 million) buyout clause from RB Leipzig.

The chemistry between Mane, Salah and Roberto Firmino has been key to Liverpool’s rise from struggling to qualify for the Champions League to the dizzy heights of European and English champions.

“The front three we know are as good as anything in Europe,” said former Liverpool captain Jamie Carragher.

“They don’t miss too many games but when they do there is a massive drop-off and that’s why I feel Liverpool still need to strengthen.”

For the first time in three decades, though, Liverpool can build from a position of strength to tighten their grip on the Premier League rather than playing catch-up.

Solskjaer Congratulates Liverpool On Premier League Title

Manchester United’s Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gestures from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north west England on January 19, 2020.
Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

 

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Friday congratulated bitter rivals Liverpool on their long-awaited Premier League triumph but said watching other sides lifting the trophy “hurt”.

Liverpool were crowned English champions for the first time in 30 years without kicking a ball on Thursday when Chelsea beat Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.

Liverpool’s 19th title triumph, which sparked wild celebrations around their Anfield home ground, left them one behind United’s record haul.

“First of all, any team that wins the championship and a Premier League deserves it and they deserve credit,” United boss Solskjaer, who won six league titles as a player at Old Trafford, told reporters.

“It’s a hard league to win, so well done to Jurgen (Klopp) and his players.

“For me, every time you see anyone else lift the trophy it hurts. I reckon that’s the feeling everyone associated with Man United — all players, staff, and supporters. Of course, we want to get back to winning ways and that’s our challenge.”

Solskjaer is hoping FA Cup glory can be a springboard for further success, with United heading to Norwich on Saturday in the quarter-finals.

United are fifth in the Premier League, still in the race for a Champions League spot, and are well-placed to reach the last eight of the Europa League.

“I think first of all the FA Cup is a fantastic tournament, and a fantastic final to play a part in, a fantastic trophy to lift,” said Solskjaer.

“For our team, it’s a new team, and to get hands-on a first trophy and win a first title would be fantastic and hopefully a catalyst for more things to come.”

Solskjaer plans to rotate his squad at Carrow Road, where Jesse Lingard will feature, having yet to play a minute since the restart.

“Jesse has come back after the lockdown with a smile on his face, loads of energy,” he said.

“Unfortunately, last week he fell ill for a couple of days but we’ve done all the tests and he’s fine, so he’ll be involved against Norwich now and hopefully he can kick on.”

 

 

-AFP

‘A Season For The Ages’: Liverpool Owner Henry Salutes Title Triumph

File: Liverpool’s Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk (2L) celebrates scoring his team’s second goal with Liverpool’s English defender Trent Alexander-Arnold (L) during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Brighton and Hove Albion at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on January 1, 2019. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Liverpool’s principal owner John W Henry saluted his team’s “season for the ages” as they were crowned English champions for the first time in 30 years on Thursday.

Jurgen Klopp’s side won the Premier League without kicking a ball after second placed Manchester City were beaten 2-1 at Chelsea.

It was the culmination of a remarkable campaign for Liverpool, who have won 28 of their 31 league games, clinched the title earlier than any other Premier League champions and also lifted the Club World Cup in December.

US tycoon Henry, whose Fenway Sports Group bought Liverpool in 2010, tweeted: “This was a season for the ages and for the faithful of Liverpool Football Club.

“It has been an incredible year of magnificent achievement culminating tonight in capturing the Premier League title.

“The totality of this accomplishment has brought respite and joy to so many in a year filled with so much tragedy.

“LFC has made the beautiful game more beautiful than ever.

“It is said, ‘We are Liverpool’. You, the supporters are Liverpool in every sense and you continue to drive the club forward – a historic club making history once again.”

Coronavirus: The Final Twist In Liverpool’s Premier League Title Tale

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This is Liverpool’s first EPL crown in 30 years. Photo: Twitter/Liverpool FC

 

The delay to Liverpool’s title celebrations caused by the coronavirus was just the latest twist in the tale of the Reds’ 30-year wait to be crowned champions of England.

A stunning run of 26 wins and one draw from their opening 27 games of the Premier League season ensured Jurgen Klopp’s men were champions-elect long before football was shut down in March.

Despite some self-interested calls to “null and void” the season by those closer to the bottom of the table, UEFA’s insistence that any leagues not completed on the pitch should be decided on “sporting merit” meant Liverpool would not be denied their title.

The return of the Premier League even allowed them to seal it themselves rather than by votes via video conference.

Liverpool were crowned champions on Thursday after Manchester City fell 2-1 at Chelsea.

It is not the way fans would have chosen to seal the deal and there will be no celebrations to match those following Liverpool’s sixth European Cup win last year.

Klopp has promised a parade when it is safe to hold one but, in delivering the title, he has already banished the demons that haunted Liverpool for so many years.

AFP looks at Liverpool’s near misses.

Benitez’s ‘Facts’

Like Klopp, Rafa Benitez also delivered the Champions League to Anfield.

However, the Premier League eluded the Spaniard as the pressure of a thrilling title race in 2008/09 against old foes Manchester United and Alex Ferguson caused Benitez to crack.

Liverpool were top of the table in January when Benitez turned a routine pre-match press conference into an astonishing tirade against Ferguson.

Benitez reeled off a series of “facts” highlighting Ferguson’s behaviour towards referees and complaints about fixture scheduling after the Scot claimed Liverpool would get nervous in the run-in.

“I could not believe what I was hearing,” wrote then Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard in his autobiography. “I was grabbing the couch, digging my fingers into the arms, feeling embarrassed for him.”

Liverpool went on to draw the next three games, handing the advantage in the title race to United and could not recover despite winning 10 of their final 11 league games, including a 4-1 victory at Old Trafford.

– Gerrard’s slip –

Five years on, Liverpool were even closer to the title, with destiny in their own hands just three games from the end of the season.

An 11-game winning run had propelled Brendan Rodgers’s men to the top of the table ahead of Chelsea’s visit to Anfield.

Jose Mourinho even rested most of his key players, with the clash falling between the two legs of Chelsea’s Champions League semi-final against Atletico Madrid.

But one moment of ill-fortune famously cost Gerrard his last chance of winning a league title for his boyhood club as his slip allowed Demba Ba to open the scoring.

Mourinho then revelled in spoiling the party as Chelsea held out before breaking away in stoppage time to add a second when former Liverpool striker Fernando Torres teed up Willian.

Liverpool’s implosion was complete eight days later when they let a 3-0 lead at Crystal Palace go to draw 3-3 and allow Manchester City to claim the title by two points.

97 points not enough

The gap between City and Liverpool was even smaller last season as Klopp’s men missed out despite amassing the third-highest points tally in English football history.

Only City’s century of points in 2017/18 bettered the 98 they posted in retaining the title, with Liverpool’s 97 only good enough for second place.

Previous Liverpool sides of the past three decades have been broken by falling short.

This team showed they were made of sterner stuff by bouncing back to win the Champions League straight away and then streaking clear of City.

Liverpool Win First Premier League Title In 30 Years

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This is Liverpool’s first EPL crown in 30 years. Photo: Twitter/Liverpool FC

 

Liverpool have won their first Premier League title in 30 years after Chelsea beat Manchester City 2-1 on Thursday. 

 

Jurgen Klopp’s men sealed a 19th league title for the club with a record seven games left to play after City’s defeat left them 23 points adrift of Liverpool at the top.

Liverpool had moved within two points of the title with a 4-0 demolition of Crystal Palace at Anfield on Wednesday.

Their 28th win in 31 league games this season prompted Liverpool star Mohamed Salah to declare “now is our time to win the league” and 24 hours later his wish was granted.

Liverpool got the favour they wanted from Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Willian’s 78th minute penalty, awarded for a handball by Fernandinho, ended City’s two-year reign as champions after Kevin De Bruyne had cancelled out Christian Pulisic’s opener.

Liverpool have clinched the title earlier than any other Premier League champions, breaking the previous record of five games left shared by City and Manchester United.

It has been an agonising wait for Liverpool fans across the world, with the coronavirus hiatus forcing them to put the champagne on ice after the Premier League was suspended in March with Klopp’s team two wins from the title.

The three-month delay was a final obstacle on Liverpool’s long road back to the pinnacle of English football.

Liverpool spent years in the shadow of arch-rivals Manchester United during the Alex Ferguson era before being left behind by the massive spending of Manchester City and Chelsea.

Then managed by Brendan Rodgers, they infamously squandered a golden opportunity to win the title in 2014 when Reds captain Steven Gerrard made his costly slip in a late-season defeat against Chelsea.

But Klopp’s team are deserved champions after an incredible campaign that could end in record-breaking style.

Liverpool, who are now one title behind Manchester United’s English record haul of 20, are on course to beat Manchester City’s record points total of 100 set in 2017/18.

Klopp’s men could smash the record for the biggest winning margin, set by City when they finished 19 points clear at the top in that same season.

They are also within touching distance of the most victories in a Premier League season — 32 by City in 2017/18 and 2018/19.

– We can play pretty good –

Klopp, the first German manager to win the Premier League, has been the architect of Liverpool’s renaissance since the former Borussia Dortmund boss arrived at Anfield in 2015.

Infusing his players with a belief in his “heavy metal” football and high-tempo “gegen-pressing” game-plan, the charismatic Klopp has earned his place alongside Liverpool’s iconic former managers Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley and Kenny Dalglish.

When Dalglish led Liverpool to the title in 1990, the prize Shankly once described as the club’s “bread and butter” was almost taken for granted after two decades of dominance.

Following years of underachievement, Klopp has brought his unique style and major trophies back to Liverpool.

They won the Champions League last season, when they beat Tottenham in the final, 12 months after losing to Real Madrid at the same stage of the competition.

Liverpool were pipped to the title by Manchester City on the final day of last season, finishing with a record 97 points for top-flight runners-up.

But with Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino forming a formidable front three, Jordan Henderson a tireless presence in midfield and Virgil van Dijk imperious at the back, Liverpool have left City trailing in their wake this season.

It was fitting that Liverpool saved one of their most eye-catching performances for the week the title was won.

After destroying Palace, Klopp said: “Imagine if the stadium could have been full and people could have experienced that live. It would have been amazing.

“This game will last a while in my mind, this is what we want to be.

“We cannot play like other teams, but we can play pretty good stuff.”

Klopp’s frustration that matches are being played behind closed doors at present will fade in time.

It will be the memories left by his transcendent team that linger longest.

Historians on the Kop will surely rank this Liverpool side, also crowned Club World champions in December, alongside the 1979 and 1988 vintages as one of the greatest to wear the famous red shirt.

Liverpool Thrash Crystal Palace 4-0 To Close In On Premier League Title

Crystal Palace's English defender Joel Ward (L) vies with Liverpool's Senegalese striker Sadio Mane during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Crystal Palace at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on June 24, 2020. (Photo by PHIL NOBLE / POOL / AFP)
Crystal Palace’s English defender Joel Ward (L) vies with Liverpool’s Senegalese striker Sadio Mane during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Crystal Palace at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on June 24, 2020. (Photo by PHIL NOBLE / POOL / AFP)

 

 

Liverpool moved to the brink of celebrating a first league title in 30 years with a 4-0 win over Crystal Palace on their return to Anfield behind closed doors on Wednesday.

Jurgen Klopp’s men will be champions on Thursday should Manchester City fail to win at Chelsea or by collecting a point when they face City in their next outing on July 2.

 

 

-AFP

Lampard Focused On Finishing Third Rather Than Crowning Liverpool

Chelsea's English head coach Frank Lampard (R) touch the elbow of Chelsea's Brazilian midfielder Willian as he is substituted off during the English Premier League football match between Aston Villa and Chelsea at Villa Park in Birmingham, central England on June 21, 2020. (Photo by MOLLY DARLINGTON / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /
Chelsea’s English head coach Frank Lampard (R) touch the elbow of Chelsea’s Brazilian midfielder Willian as he is substituted off during the English Premier League football match between Aston Villa and Chelsea at Villa Park in Birmingham, central England on June 21, 2020. (Photo by MOLLY DARLINGTON / POOL / AFP)

 

 

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard will happily play a part in crowning Liverpool champions for the first time in 30 years, but only because it would mean his side have taken points from Manchester City on Thursday.

Should Liverpool beat Crystal Palace on Wednesday, City will need to win at Stamford Bridge to keep the title race alive for another week before they host Liverpool on July 2.

Chelsea are in need of the points themselves to cement their place in the top four, with Lampard keen to catch Leicester in third before the season is over.

“I have had absolutely no thought of Liverpool’s situation, it makes no odds to us at all,” said Lampard.

“We respect Liverpool and Manchester City as two fantastic teams, in the last two to three seasons they’ve been dominant, but we can only look at what this match means for us.”

Chelsea famously played a big part on the night Leicester clinched the league in the 2015/16 season, coming from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 against Tottenham in what became dubbed “The Battle of the Bridge” after nine of the Spurs side were booked.

“I don’t think you can compare a Chelsea-Tottenham game to potentially stop Tottenham winning the league,” added Lampard on the rivalry between the London sides.

“I am aware of the situation, but I can only focus on us.

“We have a job to do and our job is to go up against one of the best teams in the world over the last few seasons and try to get a result.”

 

 

-AFP