Liverpool F.C – What Happens Now?
On 3rd January 2019 at the Etihad Stadium, Liverpool saw their first and last defeat that season in the Premier League. Leroy Sane's decisive low shot guaranteed The Reds a 2nd place in the title race, though that has not diminished the winning spirit at Anfield. An entire calendar year later, Liverpool is still undefeated as of yet, and their 2-0 win against Sheffield United on 2nd January 2020 have stamped their place in history as one of the few clubs that have undergone an unbeaten year. Arsenal is the only club that has had the honour of finishing an entire season without a single league defeat, so this can be the next best thing.
But what does this say about the club's future? 30 years since their last league title win in the 1989/90 season, Liverpool are at the top of the Prem with a game in hand, 13 points ahead of equally unlikely chasers Leicester City, with title rivals Manchester City only a single point behind The Foxes. Such a lead in the title race can be no small feat when half the season is over, and if recent history has shown anything, it is that Liverpool is still hungry for success. Jürgen Klopp has masterminded the team to unprecedented heights. Will Shankly's vision about the Merseyside echoed in their F.A Cup win in the Merseyside Derby on the 5th when they won the game with a team of reserves, and their FIFA Club World Cup win came just a month prior, so the stage is set for continued triumphs.
The North-West Derby is on 19th January following a visit to the self-proclaimed Chosen One's side Tottenham Hotspur. However, Liverpool's biggest test this season is inarguably facing off against one of the most industrious Spanish sides in the knockout round of the Champions League Round of 16. Both teams don't look too different when it comes to work rate and competitiveness. While Diego Simone's hardworking lads have lacked in terms of their finishing – partly due to Antoine Griezmann leaving the club in the summer, they can still prove to be a bulwark at the back. The two legs that will be drawn out over February and March will go to the last second of the last minute, and hopefully, it will be a nail-biting affair that will no doubt produce equal parts excitement and groans. After being thrashed by Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup, Liverpool is in a pole position to take home three trophies so far, and the pressure is mounting with each passing match. Seeing the Reds complete a treble will be a sight to behold, and fans are no doubt giddy at the prospect of seeing Liverpool keep the Champions Cup trophy for another year.
20 matches and 19 wins look to be substantial numbers, and a sort of dominance has been established by the North-London side that few others can seem to match. Dominance like this recalls of another recent history where one team was in the spotlight for a year, then faded away into mid-table mediocrity. Leicester City's fairy tale season of 2015/16 was no doubt extraordinary. Still, they had a winning spirit that can lead to subsequent seasons being left behind in the shadow of great successes. Liverpool is far too big a club, but that sort of fallback does not seem unlikely. Just look at Manchester United right now, as the once title-winning juggernaut has come on hard times under Gunnar Solskjær and have struggled to find their footing since.