By all accounts, Liverpool are having a stellar season and despite their shock defeat at the hands of relegation-threatened Watford at the weekend, the latest football odds remain stacked in their favour and there’s no chance of anyone else getting a look-in.
Jürgen Klopp’s men continue to break records, or set potential targets in their sights. But, in their end-of-the-month Premier League clash against West Ham at Anfield, hearts must have been in mouths and fingernails well and truly chewed. After Georginio Wijnaldum put the hosts in front early on, they were quickly pegged back by Issa Diop. The Hammers took the lead in the second half and after Mo Salah equalised with just over 20 minutes left to play, Liverpool left it late in getting the winner. It was a second mistake of the evening by Hammers’ goalkeeper Łukasz Fabiański, who gave Sadio Mané one of the easiest finishes of his life, tapping into an empty net – of course, sending the Kop into raptures.
However, on that Monday night at Anfield, there was one record that fell out of their sights. Prior to conceding the two goals, Liverpool had let in just 15 all season and saw them level with the Chelsea side of 2004-05 who conceded 15 goals in 38 Premier League matches, as they won the title. It appears that Chelsea’s record is an incredible one, which simply cannot be beaten.
While the rampant reds have dominated this season and it’s still a case of when, not if, they win the title, there is something about the class of 04-05 that is slightly more impressive. After all, records are there to be broken, and it’s unlikely that one ever will.
Furthermore, Czech goalkeeper Petr Čech won that season’s Golden Glove, with 24 clean sheets, another record, and one that Liverpool as a club, or individually Alisson won’t be able to surpass. The Brazilian has kept 10 clean sheets so far, seeing him one place behind Burnley’s Nick Pope, who kept 11. Combined with Adrian’s two clean sheets in away victories at Sheffield United and ironically, Burnley, even if Liverpool fail to concede a goal for the rest of the season, they’ll still only finish with 22 clean sheets to their name.
But what about the records that are there to be smashed?
Liverpool are just six wins away from Manchester City’s target of 32 wins in a Premier League season – the most of any club, and a feat they achieved in 2017-18, before replicating it the following campaign. The most recent defeat to Watford has put an end to the chances of an unbeaten season, replicating Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ 49-match streak in 2003-04. The loss that came as a surprise to everyone, also put an end to breaking the record for consecutive wins in the league. Klopp’s side ended their winning run on 18 games, levelling Manchester City’s record.
However, one of City’s records that can still be broken is the highest number of points secured in a Premier League season. The target currently stands at 100 points and to date Liverpool have obtained 79 points from 28 games. With 10 matches left to play and 30 points up for grabs, despite the recent slip-up, it’s still an achievable record.
It’s milestone after milestone for this incredible squad and while the record books are there to be unwritten, this Liverpool team under Klopp make these record-breaking exploits look ordinary.