Liverpool’s inevitable capture of the Premier League title is complete.
Now that we’ve had some time to celebrate this season’s champions, we ask: What will be their place in history?
The Reds’ committed attack has led Jurgen Klopp’s men to one of the best campaigns in league history and there’s potential for it to be looked upon as the No. 1 league season ever.
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We’re talking about the league run, of course. Liverpool cannot win a treble of any renown unless you’re counting the one-off UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup.
That’s not discounting anything — they are the reigning Champions League winners for another couple of months — but it does make it more difficult to compare their season to others because the club was forced into punting the League Cup.
Before we go any further, here are all of Liverpool’s matches in their championship season
Liverpool’s 2019-20 run-in
Thursday at Man City
Sunday v. Aston Villa
July 8 at Brighton
July 11 v. Burnley
July 15 at Arsenal
July 18 v. Chelsea
July 26 at Newcastle
That’s not an easy slate. Everyone but Newcastle and possibly Brighton will be in some state of desperation when it comes to top four, top seven, or the avoidance relegation placement
Fastest team to win and effects
Liverpool is the fastest team to ever win the Premier League, an achievement that has not lent itself to historic finishes (although the comparisons are fraught by history and rarity; 1907-08 might seem like only yesterday. Alas).
Of the four clubs to win the league with five matches to play, here are their performances post-clinch (Liverpool did it with seven to play).
Everton 1984-85: 2W-3L
Man Utd 1907-08: 1W-2L-2D
Man Utd 2000-01: 1W-1D-3L
Man City 2017-18: 4W-1D
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Given Jurgen Klopp’s status as a certified lunatic-genius of soccer, it’s likely he’ll be geared up to match City’s fine finish that made so much history.
The Man City rivalry’s place in the story line
It helps that the Reds start with Man City at the Etihad Stadium, a home team which will be ornery as ever after saluting the club that demolished hopes of a rare PL threepeat.
That 2017-18 City team, like Liverpool, had been eliminated from every other competition (although so had 2000-01 United). 1984-85. Everton was still in two competitions and prioritized them. The early 20th century United also had day jobs, which makes it hard to prioritize much of anything other than work.
The City team is the comparison that interests me most, due to the recent thrilling rivalry between the clubs and the fact that Pep Guardiola’s stylish team was the best thing we’ve seen short of the prime of Messi and Iniesta in late 2000s Barcelona.
Liverpool and Man City split the 2017-18 season’s fixtures, City crushing the Reds 5-0 at the Etihad before a 4-3 at Anfield which wasn’t quite as close as Ilkay Gundogan’s stoppage time goal made it appear on paper.
In 2017-18, City lost twice and drew four times, collecting 100 points while scoring 106 goals with a plus-79 goal differential.
Liverpool is on pace to record a record point total, though matching or beating the goals scored and differential numbers looks improbable. And a Man City win on Thursday would drop Liverpool’s max point total to 104 from 107.
An argument can be made that the only two seasons worth measuring are this Liverpool campaign and the 2017-18 City season due to the incredible depth of the Premier League and the challenges of winning, let alone dominating, in this era. Liverpool’s always been able to boast a win over the champs that season (so has Manchester United).
Ultimately, does it matter? No. Liverpool have produced one of the finest seasons in history and captured the imagination of its supporters and many neutrals.
But for many of us soccer nerds, it’s intriguing to measure what could be the finest season ever produced by an English club.
Let’s see where Liverpool winds up. Congrats to all of the Reds faithful either way. What a team.Follow @NicholasMendola