The stepping-stone goals which saw Liverpool become Premier League champions – Liverpool FC

    Say it again. And again, and again. Liverpool are Premier League winners. But exactly how did we go from being a shambles to being the champions?

    The Reds were, to put it mildly, all over the shop when Jurgen Klopp stepped through the door at Anfield.

    There was a tremendous, unforgettable period of attacking football, excitement and the prospect of trophies under his predecessor Brendan Rodgers, but when it unravelled, it did so quickly, brutally and completely.

    Klopp’s arrival signalled the start of something with firmer roots, deeper foundations and being built to last—which has so far yielded four notable trophies and more runners-up spots besides.

    So here’s a look back at the story on the pitch: the critical goals, the milestones we had to reach, the steps the Reds had to take, one by one, to once more be crowned Champions of England.

    The first under Jurgen

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    It had to start somewhere! The Reds actually drew 0-0 in Klopp’s first match in charge, with Emre Can netting the first goal under the new boss in the Europa League against Rubin Kazan in October 2015.

    In the Premier League, though, it was Christian Benteke of all people who scored our first goal under Jurgen, against Southampton – and Sadio Mane actually scored the equaliser for the away side, before being sent-off.

    He certainly got himself noticed!


    West Brom and Klopp’s Kop salute

    In it together, in it as one. That was the message—widely ridiculed around the rest of the English game at the time—that Klopp wanted to portray when he and the players gathered in front of the fans at the end of a home draw with West Brom.

    Divock Origi scored the last-minute equaliser and, in a show of solidarity with the support who had stayed until the end, the boss rallied the troops.

    This was only a couple of months in and it was entirely intended as a show of support, not a “this was a great result” message.

    It worked. It has never stopped working.


    Norwich + Lallana + glasses = madness

    There were, it’s fair to say, ups and downs in that first two-thirds of a campaign under Klopp.

    We beat Man City, but drew with Exeter; we smashed Chelsea, but lost to Newcastle.

    The real eye-opener, though, what Klopp wanted to introduce to the team with that togetherness approach from above, was a never-say-die attitude where the team know it’s never over until it’s completely over—and it really came to light at Carrow Road in January 2016.

    Crazy game, loads of goals, almost lost the points late on, then Adam Lallana won it 5-4 in stoppage time and the boss lost his glasses.

    We’ve barely stopped scoring late winners since.


    Middlesbrough the last stop before Europe

    There are plenty of other early examples of late winners we could use from seasons gone by. Ragnar Klavan at Burnley; Sadio Mane in the derby and so on.

    But those were means to an end: Liverpool’s next big task was to get back among Europe’s elite. We got closer, step by step, until we needed a final-day victory over Middlesbrough to secure a top-four finish.

    Nerves and noise were the order of the day until Gini Wijnaldum blammed one home and the Reds realised that yes, we were indeed good enough for this, and tore poor Boro apart.

    Back at Europe’s top dining table!


    Power play to start scaring City

    Ok, so Europe is back—what about domestic form? The real aim was the title, to end that long wait, but Man City were the dominant force now.

    That was emphasised in a 5-0 defeat for the Reds after Mane—now with us, not Saints—was sent-off at the Etihad.

    So when City visited Anfield later in the year, beating them in our own style was everything.

    4-3 was the eventual scoreline, but the power of the Reds in blowing teams away over a 10-minute period was incredible at that point, emphasised by our third goal: a high press, flooding forward, quick passing and a tremendous goal.

    Salah teed up Mane for this one but all the forwards scored on the day.


    Origi and the Ev

    Do we really need to explain this one?!

    Going great, needing to beat the neighbours, annoying draw, last minute, Van Dijk effort, Pickford drops it, Origi pounces, madness ensues.

    The derby moment to end all derby moments and another step for the team to realise they must always, always find a way – however absurd and unlikely.


    It’s never over, just ask Villa

    And so to this season.

    We had gone close last year. We had been our best-ever selves, arguably, and it still wasn’t enough. The margin for error was almost nil.

    So losing away to Aston Villa, newly promoted and down the bottom, just wouldn’t cut it.

    A goal down, three minutes to play? Fear not. Robertson, Mane, three points. Mentality monsters, mental resilience, incredible determination, call it what you will – the Reds wouldn’t be denied.


    Kop on board

    The players knew, the manager knew. The Kop didn’t want to jinx it.

    But when Salah ran half the length of the pitch and beat David de Gea, that was the moment.

    Now you’re gonna believe us!


    Willian pen to seal the title

    Oddly enough, the moment which sealed the title wasn’t even ours! Cheers, Willian!

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