Over the last two years, it’s fair to say that Liverpool FC have been on the rise, both on the football pitch and off it.
A lot of questions were asked about the Merseyside team in the 2018 January transfer window when Philippe Coutinho finally got his desired move to Barcelona. However, since his departure, it could be argued that the team has improved and progressed.
16 months down the line and Liverpool are coming to the end of one of their best seasons in the last two decades – potentially trophyless.
While the season is not yet over, Manchester City’s win over Manchester United put one hand on the Premier League title with the remainder of their games being viewed as winnable. Coupled with that was Liverpool’s 3-0 away defeat to Barcelona in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final.
It’s clear that Liverpool need miracles to happen for them to have a chance at lifting either trophy. However, two questions must be asked: Firstly, should it have even got to this stage? And secondly, how have Liverpool had one of their best performing seasons and still may fail to lift some silverware?
With regards to the first question, the simple answer is no. With regards to the second question, the complicated answer is Manchester City.
On the 19th of January, Liverpool were seven points clear at the top of the Premier League table and it looked very possible that their 28-year league title wait could be coming to an end – dating back to 1990 when they lifted the, then called First Division Trophy.
However, since then they went on to drop points in two draws vs Leicester City and West Ham United. As of now, besides teams in the top six, Liverpool have only dropped points in three draws against Leicester City, West Ham United, and Everton – with two of those matches being away.
Liverpool have not lost a match at home all season. It’s hard to imagine that a team who have lost only match all season may finish in 2nd position. Since their impressive run in Europe last season, where they lost to Real Madrid in the UCL final, Liverpool have significantly strengthened their side – and in the right areas.
Claiming the title of the world’s most expensive goalkeeper, albeit, for a couple of weeks. Allison Becker was signed for a then record fee of 65 million pounds. On top of that, Liverpool signed the now PFA Player of the year, Virgil Van Dyk for 75 million pounds.
Establishing a strong defence has seen the Reds keep 20 clean sheets thus far – with Allison potentially on his way to winning the Golden Glove. Since the Golden Glove’s introduction in 2004/2005, 20 clean sheets or more has only ever been achieved three times.
Two of those winners went on to win the Premier League with one falling short – Pepe Reina of Liverpool FC in the 2005/2006 season.
Liverpool are on track to accomplish 97 points this campaign which could see them end the season with 31 wins – eclipsing their 1978-1979 season of 30 wins, their highest to date. Currently on 92 and 91 points respectively, either Manchester City or Liverpool will set a new record for the most points obtained without winning the Premier League title. This record was previously held by Manchester United with 89 points in the 2011/12 season with Sergio Aguero scoring THAT goal.
— Premier League (@premierleague) April 29, 2019
With 91 points so far, Liverpool FC have already entered in the top five points tallies achieved in a single season – Manchester United with 91 in 1999/00; Chelsea with 91 in 2005/06; Chelsea with 93 in 2016/17; Chelsea with 95 in 2004/05; and Manchester City with a staggering 100 points in the 2017/18 season.
It’s been seven years since Liverpool last won a major trophy and even that was just the League Cup in 2011/12. Prior to that Liverpool lifted the FA Cup in the 2005/06 campaign.
With the way they are playing and the numbers they are reaching, many would have believed that 2019 was the year Liverpool would go on to finally win the English Premier League – and they still can. However, it’s looking less likely than it was just a couple months ago on the 19th January when Liverpool beat Crystal Palace to go seven points clear.
This does, however, show testament to the works of Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City side who continue to break the barriers of English football. Relentless in the last couple of months, it’s hard to imagine that the Citizens will too slip and throw the title away, but football is a funny game and just like the 2011/12 season, it might too go down to the very last second.