Premier League champions Liverpool ensured they would finish on the second-highest points total in top-flight history, as they came from behind to beat Newcastle United at St James’ Park on the final day of the elongated season.
Jurgen Klopp’s men ended on 99 points, one fewer than Manchester City’s centurions managed two years ago, and two more than last season’s valiant runners-up season. This victory meant the Reds finished 18 points above Pep Guardiola’s City side, one point short of City’s record winning margin of 19 points set two seasons ago.
Liverpool Cap Wonderful Premier League Season
Despite finishing on an impressive points tally, the champions’ form has been indifferent as best since confirming the league in record quick time with seven games remaining, form which looked as though it may continue when Dwight Gayle put Newcastle ahead after just 25 seconds. A quickly-taken Jonjo Shelvey free-kick set Gayle away for the fastest goal ever scored on a Premier League final day.
Liverpool, who started without their reliable front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino for this match, pushed hard and dominated much of the match before eventually levelling through Virgil van Dijk’s header.
Belgian Divock Origi put Liverpool ahead from 20 yards in the second half, despite a disappointing performance from the forward. Soon after, the reinforcements were on, all three of the fantastic frontline arriving in one go. Liverpool’s squad depth may come into question once more, as the back-up frontline of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Takumi Minamino and Origi lacked the quality required.
Shortly after arriving, Senegalese forward Mane curled home a third for the visitors to secure all three points, not before Salah had struck the post and wreaked havoc amongst the Newcastle defensive setup.
Steve Bruce’s men struggled to lay a glove on the champions after they had taken a surprise early lead. The Magpies ending the season well clear of relegation danger and in 13th place, the fans, players and Bruce himself will now turn attentions to off-field matters, with the club still in limbo over the potential takeover from a cash-rich Middle Eastern consortium.
For Klopp’s men, it’s a well-deserved break before training begins once more in just a few short weeks ahead of the start of the 2020/21 season. Undoubtedly, transfer rumours will clog up the news feeds of Liverpool fans across the world from here on in, although it is expected to be a quiet window for the Premier League winners, could we yet see one or two big moves.