Follow Us:
Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Liverpool’s 30-year-old itinerary and a multitude of records

Liverpool, with 67 points from 69, have made the best-ever start to a Premier League season, but what records — unbeaten runs, most points, earliest title win — might they end up breaking come May?

Written by Debkalpa Banerjee | Updated: January 24, 2020 6:48:02 pm
Liverpool can still become invincible centurions this season. (Source: Twitter)

After Anfield echoed with “now you’re going to believe us” on last Sunday after the forty-yard dash and finish from their “Egyptian King” against Manchester United, few had doubts in guessing the eventual champions of England. With 67 points from a possible 69 now, Liverpool have romped their way through every club they have faced with varying degrees of willpower and control, most recently conquering Wolverhampton on Thursday night.

Aided by the tactical genius of Jurgen Klopp, and the consistency provided by an array of world-class players, the Reds have consolidated the top spot maintaining a 16 point difference with the second-placed Manchester City. With still a match in hand, Liverpool just need 27 points from their final 15 games of the season to wrap up their first-ever Premier League title, ending a drought of 30 long years.

But for a team which has lost just once in their last 62 league outings, and has been unbeaten for 385 days since their 2-1 defeat to Manchester City on January 4, 2019, would it be enough to just win the league by a point when a slew of records are there to be conquered?

The obvious ones have been doing rounds in everyone’s heads for quite some time now — firstly, can Liverpool win their first-ever domestic league title since 1989/90 earlier than all the other teams in history? Secondly, can Liverpool break Manchester City’s “Centurions” record of winning the most number of points in a single season? Lastly, can Liverpool go the entire season unbeaten and better Arsenal’s “Invincibles” record?

Well, theoretically, they can, considering the 18-time league winners have picked up 94 points from their last 96, at a monstrous rate of 2.93 points per game.

EARLIEST EVER TITLE WIN

Liverpool have been unbeaten in the league for 385 days. (Source: Twitter)

If Liverpool maintain their current form like a well-oiled machine, it can be calculated that the title could be decided away to Etihad Stadium on April 4. The existing record of an earliest title win is held by Manchester United who won the 2000/01 title on April 14, 2001. In all possibilities, Klopp’s men can wrap the league even before March if Manchester City drop any more points.

HIGHEST EVER POINTS TALLY

Liverpool can amass a maximum of 112 points this season, which will top Manchester City’s 100 points tally in 2017/18 when the Pep Guardiola-managed side won the league by 19 points. For Klopp’s side to fail to cross the three-digit mark, they would have to lose at least four matches.

READ | The long road to Reds’ redemption in Premier League

LONGEST EVER UNBEATEN STREAK

If Liverpool can remain unbeaten in 2019/20, i.e; for the next 15 games this season, they will match Arsenal’s “Invincibles” season of 2003/04. In doing that, the Reds will also surpass the Gunners’ record of going 539 days without a single defeat.

Apart from that, Liverpool’s current run of 40 matches without defeat, which started against Brighton & Hove Albion in January 2019, can develop into another record-breaker — overtaking Arsenal’s run of 49 matches without losing between May 2003 and October 2004.

MOST CONSECUTIVE WINS

After being held at Old Trafford, the only match of the 2019/20 season where they dropped points, Liverpool have maintained a streak of 14 straight wins, which started against Tottenham Hotspur in October. Manchester City hold the current record with 18 consecutive wins in Premier League in 2017, and if Liverpool win their next five matches, then they will set a new mark at Watford on February 29.

In terms of the most victories over the course of a season, Liverpool are 11 away from breaking the 32 set by City in 2017/18 and 2018/19. Liverpool had won 30 of their 38 Premier League matches last season when they came second, registering Premier League’s third-highest ever points total in a single season.

MOST HOME WINS IN A SEASON

Liverpool are currently unbeaten in 52 consecutive games at Anfield. (Source: Reuters)

Just behind Chelsea, Liverpool are currently enjoying the second-longest unbeaten streak at their home ground, Anfield, going 52 matches without a loss. Now, on 19 consecutive home wins, if the Reds win against Southampton on February 1, they will match Manchester City’s record of 20 home wins in a row in 2011/12.

As for the record in a single season, Liverpool will have to win their remaining seven fixtures at Anfield to best Chelsea, Manchester United, and Manchester City’s Premier League record of managing 18 wins in a season. Klopp’s side last dropped points at home with a 1-1 draw against Leicester City in January 2019.

Liverpool’s away record has also been commendable this season, as they have won nine out of their ten matches on the road. They are now seven away from matching Manchester City’s 16 from 2017/18.

BEST START TO A SEASON EVER 

Liverpool have already eclipsed Manchester City’s record (59 points) of having the best start to a Premier League season ever, when they reached 61 points after 21 matches. The record set by them also stands in any of Europe’s top five leagues.

MOST SUCCESSIVE CLEAN SHEETS

Although Raul Jimenez’s finely placed second-half equaliser for Wolverhampton Wanderers broke Liverpool’s streak of seven consecutive clean sheets, they can still mathematically break the record of most successive clean sheets. If Liverpool succeed in not conceding a goal in the rest of their 15 matches in a row, then they can overtake Manchester United’s record of 14 straight shutouts between November 2008 and February 2009.

MOST GOALS SCORED AND FEWEST CONCEDED

Liverpool have scored 54 goals so far this season. (Source: File)

Although near-impossible, Liverpool can still break the record for scoring the most goals and match conceding the fewest in a single Premier League season. Klopp’s men have scored 54 goals this season and conceded just 15 from 23 matches, and they have a long trek ahead of them to go near the standing records. While Manchester City scored a record 106 goals in 2017/18, Chelsea holds the record of conceding the fewest in a season, when the Jose Mourinho-guided team conceded just 15 goals in 2004/05.

READ | With no Robin Hood, UEFA Champions League risks being predictable

Still, at the end of the day, according to their captain Jordan Henderson, Liverpool have their sights on their first-ever Premier League title above all the chatter of the horde of records that they can break. The story of the season still remains the rise of Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp — from languishing at tenth in the table on October 2015 to title contenders and UEFA Champions League finalists in back-to-back years.

Dethroning the near-immovable Manchester City from the summit on a net spend of just £70m over the past four years should also be considered an achievement in itself for Liverpool. Revolutionising the pressing regime in England and thus, turning the wingbacks into primary playmakers should also be considered a proper deed. Developing a closed-knit footballing model based on statistics and long-term investments which is turning out consistent results scarily should also be lauded highly.

Overlooking the numbers, Liverpool is a team which is as complete as it comes, who play incredibly varied football, like a perfect concoction of intricacy, efficiency, and directness. Even if they don’t manage to get their seventh Champions League trophy come May, this Liverpool side should, nonetheless, be talked about in the same breath as Manchester United 1998/99, Arsenal 2003/04, Chelsea 2004/05, and Manchester City 2017/18.

And if they finish as the invincible centurion champions of England, Liverpool’s case as the greatest ever Premier League side might just be undebatable.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest Sports News, download Indian Express App.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement