In a repeat of last season’s group fixture, late goals once again helped the Italians defeat Liverpool.
“My idea was to build Liverpool into a bastion of invincibility. You know, Napoleon had that idea and he conquered the bloody world. And that’s what I want – for Liverpool to be untouchable. My idea was to build Liverpool up, and up, and up. Until eventually, everyone would have to submit, and give in.”
Bill Shankly said that in 1975. The idea may seem far-fetched but, in Bill Shankly’s time of management at Liverpool FC, he managed to drag them from the ruins of Division 2 English football and turn them into a global powerhouse. In the space of 15 years, he achieved promotion to Division 1, won the League Championship three times, the FA Cup twice, and the UEFA Cup once. Truly remarkable.
His idea became a reality, but 44 years later, are Liverpool Football Club still a bastion of invincibility?
When reflecting on the consistency of Liverpool’s performance last season, it was extraordinary. With Jurgen Klopp at the helm as manager, Liverpool mounted the title challenge so many had longed for.
However, Liverpool did not bring home their first ever Premier League trophy, a failure that extends their drought to 30 years without a league title. But to do so well – amassing 97 points (a club record) while losing just one game – is a huge achievement in itself and is a testament to the growth and stability that Klopp has brought to Liverpool. He has taken them back to the promised land of competitive football.
Liverpool have prospered under Klopp when the football world thought that they were a thing of the past – a club of rich history, with a poor present and a lesser future.
Remember Klopp’s first ever interview as Liverpool manager? Probably not. But it’s ingrained in the minds of many as the turning point of the modern Liverpool Football Club.
“We must go from doubted to believed”, he stated.
After four European finals, two domestic finals and a Premier League points tally that would have won the league in any other season except for two, Liverpool are once again a force to be reckoned with.
However, Manchester City’s unrivalled ability to just keep winning contributes to Liverpool’s lack of success, while the club’s financial power coupled with the perpetual wisdom of manager Pep Guardiola can appear unbeatable.
This being said, the Liverpool squad seem to have a personal bond that is nigh on unbreakable.
It’s difficult to write an article about Liverpool without mentioning Manchester City, but their manufactured, bought-out, arrogant persona that makes it so hard to avoid. They don’t realise that their club has no fragment of a soul. But why would they care? They’re champions after all, and Liverpool are not.
However, Norwich shocked the footballing world by defeating Manchester City 3-2. With 11 of their first-team players out, the Canaries somehow inflicted City’s first defeat in the Premier League since January.
Norwich are back in the Premier League for the first time since 2015, and Manchester City have just won the Premier League title in consecutive years for the first time in their history, also becoming the first Premier League team to amass 100 points in a season.
Not only that, but Norwich’s starting XI cost just $11.72 million compared to Manchester City’s starting XI price tag of $738 million. No, that is not a typo.
City’s loss leaves them in second, five points behind unbeaten Liverpool – the biggest lead after five games in Premier League history. This Liverpool brigade remain undefeated at Anfield since early 2017 – a run of 43 games. They have this season’s only 100 per cent record.
While it’s still early days, Liverpool look like a team ordained for domestic success, something they haven’t tasted in 30 very, very long years.
A Premier League title, accompanied by their recent European triumph, would label Liverpool a bastion of invincibility once again.