Dubai: In all likelihood, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson may have to handle the after-effects of Liverpool’s 30-year itch for an English Premier League title.
Late on Thursday, the Reds were automatically crowned the new champions without kicking a ball courtesy of Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.
Christian Pulisic’s smart finish and a cool Willian penalty subdued Pep Guardiola’s defending champions in west London, with Kevin De Bruyne’s fine free-kick came a bit too late as captain Fernandinho was sent off for a handball. And that summed up Liverpool’s night of glory after a rather long wait.
And then all hell broke lose as the hundreds of Liverpool fans gathered at Anfield and gradually got into celebration mode while setting off flares and fireworks following Chelsea’s win.
Police officers were present, but no attempts were made to disperse the crowd. In fact, the Merseyside Police closed most roads around Anfield while advising motorists to avoid congesting the area further.
Given the coronavirus situation in the UK, the Conservative Party PM may be asking for an internal inquiry, but no one can hold even the slightest of grudges in the Liverpool ascent.
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They’ve earned it and merited all the glory that comes with a 19th major crown in their history.
When Jurgen Klopp walked into Anfield as Liverpool manager way back in October 2015, his one message was: “We must turn from doubters to believers.” On Thursday night, the German was “lost for words” after delivering on that promise nearly five years later.
Perhaps, something that went altogether unnoticed was the hard work and dedication of Klopp behind the scenes, while the players rewrote their coach’s well-planned strategies on the pitch, most importantly during training sessions.
And perhaps, the German summed it all up when he admitted that “it is an incredible achievement from my players ... and a pure joy for me to coach them”.
That statement was exemplified by a team that maintained a spirit throughout the season, even when a three-month break crept in due to the pandemic. Their front-runners for absolute teamwork included the goals that started off with their Egyptian star Mohammad Salah (17 goals) along with strike partner Sadio Mane (15).
And, definitely not missing the seasonal party were the rest of the crew, including Roberto Firmino (8 goals), Virgil van Dijk (4), Trent Alexander-Arnold, skipper Jordan Henderson, Divock Origi, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Georginio Wijnaldum (3 goals each) and players such as Fabinho and James Milner scored two apiece.
A true example in teamwork. Planned from inside and executed to perfection on the pitch making the team believe in yet another record that could well be broken if they continue with that same conviction.
Last season, Liverpool recorded the third-highest points tally in the division’s history (97) only to be beaten to top spot by a solitary point by Guardiola’s Manchester City side on the very last day of the EPL. This year, Liverpool could well cross the three-figure mark in exactly one month when they take on Newcastle, on July 26.
Perhaps, Salah summed it up best when he tweeted: “You made this possible for us and I hope we can keep bringing you the joy you deserve. Now, they’re gonna believe us”.
And for the record, if at all that matters: While rugby has been his first love after playing for Balliol College during his time at Oxford, Johnson has also displayed an interest in football with his infamous flattening of former German international Maurizio Gaudino during a charity match way back in 2006.