Liverpool fans think they’ve won the league – and everyone else should believe them

Jurgen Klopp’s side have not lost a Premier League game for 381 days – and never did that run look remotely in danger

Melissa Reddy
Sunday 19 January 2020 20:21 GMT

“And now you’re gonna believe us. We’re gonna win the league.”

It took 64 points, going 16 clear at the summit with a game in hand, and a goal at the death from Mohamed Salah against the old enemy for Liverpool fans to finally let go and thunder that chorus for the first time this season.

“We’re not really thinking about the end,” Jordan Henderson said on the pitch afterwards, as the chant reached its crescendo. “Why should we change now? For us, as players, it’s the next game, the next challenge and the Premier League’s tough.”

The fans, though, could indulge themselves.

Liverpool have not lost a Premier League game for 381 days. They have suffered just one top-flight loss in the last 623 and that statistic never looked remotely in danger against Manchester United at Anfield.

The 1-0 scoreline until Salah’s breakaway finish in the closing seconds on a baltic Sunday evening may have fooled some into thinking this was a tense, tight contest between English football’s most successful clubs.

The truth is that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men were competitive for the first 14 minutes, before Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner was headed in by Virgil van Dijk, who unsurprisingly ousted Brandon Williams to convert the opener.

United had started positively on Merseyside, pressing the hosts high up and not allowing them a chance to build tempo or any meaningful spell in possession.

They had doubled up on Salah and Solskjaer encouraging applauded as “the plan” he had referenced several times in the build-up to the showdown made the opening period uncomfortable for Liverpool.

Then came the goal. And, for the most part, total domination followed. The league leaders had two goals disallowed, were in disbelief when Salah missed an absolute sitter and cursed as the excellent Jordan Henderson struck the post. Liverpool kept creating, kept United under swathes of pressure, but somehow couldn’t make it count.

Andreas Pereira fluffed the opportunity to punish those wasted openings in the first half, before Anthony Martial concluded their best attack of the game by lashing his effort over the bar in the second. They were largely blunt sans the services of Marcus Rashford, who faces at least two months on the sidelines due to a double stress fracture in his back.

Liverpool were nowhere near their apex and bar a normal, late push from United in the hopes of landing a sucker punch, they didn’t really seem in trouble despite being sloppy.

Mohamed Salah of Liverpool celebrates after scoring
Mohamed Salah of Liverpool celebrates after scoring (Getty)

Some of the football played in the first 45 and at the start of the second period felt as though it was on a different planet to United’s, which often distilled into ‘run, Daniel James, run!’

Liverpool had 12 shots inside the box and how only one goal separated the sides had flummoxed those inside Anfield.

But then United got a corner in their last throw of the dice, which Alisson eventually collected and directed upfield for Salah.

The Egyptian sped away, holding off James and sliding past David de Gea to finally give the home side the cushion they craved.

The whistle went with Liverpool on their perch, 30 points ahead of United. And the song, that song echoed around the ground.

“I think everyone wants us to say something about the title, but we won’t,” Van Dijk said. “We won’t get carried away. We cannot, and we won’t.”

There are no such restrictions for supporters. “They can sing whatever they want – apart from my name before the game is finished! I'm not here to dictate what they have to sing,” Klopp said.

“If our fans would not be in a good mood now, that would be really strange. The only thing that I can tell you is that we are here to work.

“The fans are allowed to dream, to sing, whatever they want – as long as they do their job as well in the moment when we play, all fine. We will not be part of that party yet, but it is not a problem because we know our job.”

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