The wait has been long, thirty years of which three months to ask if the coronavirus was not going to spoil everything, but the Liverpool of Jürgen Klopp is back on English football after the defeat (2-1) Thursday, Manchester City to Chelsea.
The Reds had done their share of work Wednesday, with brio and in the confined space of the Ground, crushing the Crystal Palace (4-0).
With 86 points and 23 units to advance on the men of Pep Guardiola, seven days of the end, the band Klopp can finally breathe.
The Manchester City-Liverpool in a week at the Etihad Stadium, for the 32nd day, will air for the award of witness between two teams who throw the championship for the past two years.
We can still regret that the Reds are sacred without play, without public and without any real prospect of sharing their happiness with the fans. But “honestly, I don’t care”, had been answered by anticipation Klopp when he was asked if it would ease his joy.
This epilogue planned long-standing erases three decades of frustration, punctuated by disappointments in 2009, 2014 or even last year, when 97 points had not been sufficient in the face of Citizens who had taken one of the most.
At the end of the winter, the question was no longer if, but when the Liverpool 2020 would reach that of 1990, the last champion.
At the time, the Premier League had not yet been launched and the championship that English was not this competition to the power of huge financial followed everywhere in the world.
Champion the earliest
The emergence of the new coronavirus, and pandemic Covid-19 that it causes have threatened to derail the return of Liverpool to the summit, stopping abruptly competitions in march.
But to force of will, and compromise, sometimes under the threat of financial losses huge, football has reclaimed its rights to reach a verdict on sports which is only fair.
This year, the Reds have crashed the Premier League with a thirst for victories unquenchable, which allowed them to often break the locks of the toughest in all of the last minute.
Despite a plethora of stars — Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, or the trio Salah-Firmino-Mane, to name only a few —, it is their collective force that has impressed.
Several records fell in the path testify to this domination without sharing.
Liverpool is, after 31 days, the champion earlier in the story, since it had to be 33 to Manchester United in 2001 and to the City in 2018.
This record is explained by the departure of a cannonball : the Reds have taken 61 points on 63 possible during the 21 first days, never seen in the five major championships.
With 23 consecutive wins at home (ongoing series), they have also erased the Reds of the legendary Bill Shankly (21) of the tablets.
They have counted at one time 25 points ahead of City, the largest gap ever seen between a leader and his heir apparent.
And this is not finished !
They can still do better than 100 points achieved by City in 2017-2018 and their final advance of 19 points in the second, at the time, Manchester United.
Finish the season with 19 wins in 19 matches at Anfield does not appear impossible, even if, after the visits of the relegation Aston Villa and the team of mid-table Burnley, should get the better of Chelsea, which will play perhaps its place in the champions League, at the 37th day.
This season, which also saw the Reds win their first World club in Qatar in December, will be undeniably a beautiful place in their very rich history.
Some shadows remain at the table, however.
The elimination from the knockout stages in the champions League, facing Atlético Madrid (1-0, 3-2, after extra time), when they were title holders, has been a great disappointment.
To a lesser degree, the courses in domestic cups ended in the eighth for the fa Cup and in the quarter for the League Cup, even if the Reds lined up their reserve team (the first team was in Qatar), remain disappointing.
As a comparison, City had managed a hat-trick of national unheard of last year, even if the Sky Blues are still after their first rite continental.
But for the eternally dissatisfied as is Jürgen Klopp, no doubt that these small reserves will be used as sources of motivation to try to bring the Reds even higher next year.