Dubai: Given how Manchester City and Liverpool went toe-to-toe for the whole season last time out, with Pep Guardiola’s men prevailing on the final day of the season, no one expected Jurgen Klopp’s men to dominate the Premier League is such — well — dominating fashion this term.
And that includes the German Liverpool coach himself.
Monday night’s thrilling 3-2 victory over West Ham United meant they have now equalled City’s record of 18 wins in a row in the English top flight between August and December 2017.
After Klopp had caught his breath following his now customary victory celebration with all four sides of Anfield, even he admitted he did not see such a run coming — a run that has left the Reds 25 points clear in the league and four wins away from the title.
“A couple of years ago, three or four maybe, in the beginning, I said we want to write our own stories, we want to create our own history,” Klopp said.
“Obviously, the boys took really seriously what I said there. It’s so special, the numbers are incredible, so difficult.
“We said it a couple of times, we spoke about wonderful games, brilliant games, we spoke about hard games, difficult games. In the end, that’s what counts.”
It almost didn’t happen on Monday night as Liverpool were in danger of dropping points for the first time since their draw at Manchester United on October 20.
Georginio Wijnaldum gave Liverpool an early advantage but they were rocked by strikes from Issa Diop and Pablo Fornals to give West Ham a stunning lead.
Luck often goes with the favourites and once again the Reds found a way to win when Lukasz Fabianski’s blunder allowed Mohammad Salah to level. Fit-again Sadio Mane completed the fightback to allow Liverpool to restore their 22-point lead over City.
Now Liverpool can look ahead to claiming that winning-streak record outright when they travel to Watford on Saturday. They also have their eye on a few other milestones, such as becoming only the second team in Champions League history to defend their title, City’s record points haul in a league season (they have already won as many points as Manchester United’s treble winners of 1998-99), and matching Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ of 2003-04 in going the whole league season undefeated.
Still plenty to play for despite the Premier League title race already in the bag.