So there you have it: Liverpool FC have their first piece of silverware for the 2019/20 campaign. It came in rather protracted fashion following a penalty shootout against Chelsea, who put up a better fight than most suspected after their debacle at Old Trafford on Sunday.
If you asked any football manager what they would want from the first game of a new season, you can guarantee that a win would rank highest, closely followed in no particular order by a clean sheet, a good performance in which tactical systems are deployed faultlessly, a few goals scored and your players getting through the 90 minutes unscathed.
And so we go again: that has to be the message from Jurgen Klopp after the final day heartbreak of last season.
Happily, any fears of a Premier League hangover were put to bed shortly after by victory in the Champions League final over Spurs.
It’s a journey that started in September last year, and all of the hype and expectation comes to an end on Saturday when Liverpool tackle Tottenham in the final of the Champions League. The time for talking is over. Now is the time for action.
Well, try and put that into words! The atmosphere at Anfield on Tuesday night was electric half an hour or more before kick off against Barcelona, and there was a feeling in the air – rarely uttered, but perceptible – that maybe, just maybe, Liverpool FC could pull off yet another footballing miracle.
It was telling, perhaps, that after Liverpool’s pulsating 3-2 win over Newcastle United on Saturday that Jurgen Klopp said we had ‘qualified for our final’.
It was easy to get carried away in the emotion of Divock Origi’s 86th minute winner following a titanic collision with the Magpies, and the manager confirmed it was something of a slip of the tongue by referencing Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final second leg later in his interview.
It’s not been the best of weeks for Liverpool Football Club. We were sitting pretty after blasting Huddersfield Town 5-0 last Friday, and we watched on with glee as Manchester City faced a tough trip to Burnley on Sunday.
By approximately 4pm on Sunday April 28, we might just know the destination of the Premier League trophy.
The Manchester derby on Wednesday evening, our clash with Huddersfield Town on Friday and then Manchester City’s trip to Burnley on Sunday could well determine the location of the silverware.
With a two-nil lead from the first leg, it was always unlikely that Liverpool would face an upset in the second outing of their Champions League quarter final tie with FC Porto.
Admittedly, the Portuguese outfit did stick it on us early on during Wednesday’s game, but we rode out the storm and took what would surely be an unassailable lead when Sadio Mane slid home following Mo Salah’s dragged shot at goal.
There was a moment at Anfield on Sunday when Andy Robertson slipped when in possession and the ball found its way to a Chelsea attacker.
Memories of ’14 were evoked, but happily this time the danger was thwarted and everyone was able to sigh with relief; including Jurgen Klopp, who realising the irony of the situation was pictured smiling away on the touchline.