Football
A cameraman films Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp embracing his team's Egyptian midfielder Mohammed Salah after a crucial win against Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday night. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: The open-top bus can now be booked and the Anfield fat lady can start warming up her vocal chords.

Following another weekend of slip-ups from their immediate title rivals, Liverpool penned the latest chapter in their astonishing Premier League title-winning tale amid a real party atmosphere.

An impressive 2-0 victory over Manchester United on Sunday evening, coupled with a loss for Leicester City against Burnley earlier in the day and Manchester City only drawing with Crystal Palace on Saturday has put the Reds 16 points clear at the top and — as if it were needed with such an advantage — with a game in hand.

Virgil van Dijk opened the scoring on Sunday evening and Liverpool had to repel a spirited fight from United before Mo Salah’s late strike — latching on to a brilliant long ball from goalkeeper Alisson — sparked scenes of celebration in the Kop that are usually reserved for European nights.

Liverpool’s first top-flight domestic league title in 30 years is all but in the bag now and City’s title defence is over bar the shouting.

“We are going to win the league,” sang the Liverpool faithful. And you better believe it.

The fans believe, the players believe and now manager Jurgen Klopp is almost — but not quite — conceding the title is won.

“It’s a big relief, I was really happy with 85-90 per cent of the game, we were brilliant,” he said. “We dominated the game, especially in the first half. The energy they put on the pitch was incredible.

“We scored a wonderful, wonderful goal at the end and this is a really good feeling.”

Of course, Klopp being Klopp, he didn’t go as far as joining in the title celebrations just yet, but enjoyed a smile as he heard the songs from the stands.

“They can sing that,” said Klopp. “I am not here to dictate what they sing. If our fans were not in a good mood now that would be really strange. They are allowed to dream and sing whatever they want, but we will not be part of that party yet.”

United, Liverpool’s historic rivals, are now 30 points behind Klopp’s boys, and while they put up some sort of fight, yet another loss will do Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s prospects holding on to the Old Trafford hot seat no good at all.

Standings

Team P W D L F A GD Pts

Liverpool 22 21 1 0 52 14 38 64

Man City 23 15 3 5 64 27 37 48

Leicester 23 14 3 6 48 23 25 45

Chelsea 23 12 3 8 39 30 9 39

Man United 23 9 7 7 36 27 9 34

Wolves 23 8 10 5 34 30 4 34

Sheffield 23 8 9 6 25 22 3 33

Tottenham 23 8 7 8 36 31 5 31

Palace 23 7 9 7 22 26 -4 30

Arsenal 23 6 11 6 30 32 -2 29

Everton 23 8 5 10 26 33 -7 29

Newcastle 23 8 5 10 22 34 -12 29

Southampton 23 8 4 11 29 42 -13 28

Burnley 23 8 3 12 26 38 -12 27

Brighton 23 6 7 10 26 31 -5 25

West Ham 22 6 5 11 26 34 -8 23

Watford 23 5 8 10 20 34 -14 23

Aston Villa 23 6 4 13 29 44 -15 22

Bournemouth 23 5 5 13 20 36 -16 20

Norwich City 23 4 5 14 23 45 -22 17