SEASON REVIEW: We look at the timeline of a rollercoaster Liverpool season
It's been a rollercoaster Liverpool season in the Premier League which saw them top the table at Christmas, slip to 8th place in March and then eventually rally to come 3rd.
Jurgen Klopp said 'it feels really really great' after his Liverpool side beat Crystal Palace 2-0 in their final Premier League game of the season on Sunday to secure Champions League football.
It may seem a bit too enthusiastic given Liverpool could only finish third in the season after they swept all before them to become Premier League champions for the first time. However, there have been many challenges and at one point, it looked like Liverpool may not play any European football at all so to qualify for Europe's most elite competition is something of a success.
It’s been a strange season for many reasons, not least because it has been without the fans, and we look at the timeline of a rollercoaster Liverpool season.
20th September: After Mo Salah scored an opening day hat-trick to beat Leeds, Liverpool travelled to Stamford Bridge to face a Chelsea side who had spent heavily in the transfer window. Thiago came on at half-time for his Liverpool debut and ran the show as a Sadio Mane double saw the Reds 2-0 winners.
28th September: Klopp's men followed that success up by blowing away Arsenal at Anfield. Goals from Mane and Andy Robertson had put Liverpool in control before Diogo Jota scored on his home debut. It was three wins from three tough games and Liverpool were second.
4th October: Liverpool were on the wrong end of quite simply one of the most stunning results ever in English football as Aston Villa beat them 7-2! The absence of both Allison and Mane were no excuse as Ollie Watkins hit a hat trick and Jack Grealish got three assists and two goals.
17th October: Perhaps the most pivotal moment of Liverpool's season occurred early in the Merseyside derby as Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford clattered into Virgil Van Dijk (somehow escaping a red card) ending the Dutch centre-back's season. Thiago was also injured by a Richarlison tackle. The game was eventful in itself ending in a 2-2 draw but VAR ruling out a late Jordan Henderson goal.
11th November: Liverpool's other first choice centre-back Joe Gomez, who had impressed in Van Dijk's absence, picked up a season-ending training injury whilst on international duty with England.
Top of the table
16th December: Liverpool had put together a run of 8 games unbeaten since the Villa debacle which included phenomenal performances at home to Leicester City (3-0) and Wolves (4-0) and were level on points with Tottenham Hotspur at the top when they played them at Anfield in front of 2000 supporters. The game looked to be heading for a 1-1 draw when in the last minute, Roberto Firmino headed in from a corner to secure a dramatic victory.
19th December: Liverpool followed that up with a clinical display against Crystal Palace to win 7-0. Firmino and Salah both scored braces with Minamino, Jordan Henderson and Mane also on the scoresheet. Klopp's men were 5 points clear but it was all about to go wrong.
21st January: There had been a dip in form with draws against West Brom and Newcastle as well as a defeat away at Southampton but a match against Burnley was even more damaging. Liverpool had not lost at home in the Premier League for 68 games but an Ashley Barnes penalty in the 83rd minute ended that and put Liverpool in 4th place, six points off top spot.
7th February: The day the title defence was really over. Manchester City came to Anfield and won for the first time since 2003 to go 10 points clear of the Reds. A season-ending injury to Joel Matip had left Liverpool without any fit senior centre backs and Henderson and Fabinho couldn't cope with a rampant City.
7th March: Liverpool's form had completely fallen off a cliff and they suffered their sixth home defeat in a row against Fulham, having also suffered painful losses to Brighton, Everton and Chelsea. The 1-0 loss to Fulham put them in 8th place, 7 points off the top 4.
10th April: Away wins against Wolves and Arsenal had put a little bit of confidence back in the team when Aston Villa came to visit Anfield. However, the Midlands side reminded Liverpool of their attacking talent when Ollie Watkins gave them the lead. But Liverpool showed courage to come from behind with Trent Alexander-Arnold netting a fantastic winner in stoppage time, putting Liverpool back up to fifth.
13th May: Liverpool conceded late equalisers against Newcastle and Leeds to again damage chances of a top 4 finish and leaving them needing to win their final five matches to have any chance. After seeing off Southampton, the Reds travelled to Old Trafford to play fierce rivals Manchester United. Liverpool outplayed United to win 4-2.
Miracle goal helps secure top 4
16th May: There was then huge pressure on a game against already-relegated West Brom and that wasn't eased when Hal-Robson Kanu gave the Baggies the lead. Mo Salah equalised but it looked to be heading for a draw until the 95th minute when goalkeeper Allison wandered up for a corner and planted a bullet header into the top corner.
23rd May: Liverpool overcame a giant hurdle in beating Burnley 3-0 in midweek, meaning they knew 3 points at home to Crystal Palace would guarantee Champions League football. With 10,000 fans back in Anfield, they put on a show to run out 2-0 winners and secure a 3rd place finish that at one stage looked impossible.
Overall, it has been a difficult season with injuries and players going through personal issues but overall fans can be reasonably happy despite a rollercoaster Liverpool season.
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