by Calum Anderson (@CalumAnderson_)
Liverpool have now gone three straight seasons unbeaten at Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp’s men won eighteen out of a possible nineteen at home this season. They drew just one – against Burnley after an incredible performance from Nick Pope, two weeks after the title was wrapped up.
Since Klopp took the reins in October 2015, Liverpool they have played ninety-one league home games, losing just four.
Building a fortress:
The last time Liverpool lost a home league game was in April 2017. Crystal Palace were the victors that day as former Red Christian Benteke scored a brace in a 1-2 win.
Fifty-seven league games have followed without Liverpool defeat; forty-seven wins, ten draws, zero defeats. Some record.
Not too long into Klopp’s reign, the German placed considerable importance on home form. He believes almost religiously in the notion that when fans get behind their team, the club – supporters and players as one cohesive whole – can beat anyone and everyone. That’s obvious.
But he realised very quickly that Anfield lacked that cohesion, perhaps surprisingly given its history. So he was not afraid to berate the supporters who decided to leave early after his first home defeat – to yes you guessed it Crystal Palace – in November 2015.
But things got better (and how)…
The famous 4-3 win over Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League quarter-final felt like a game-changer. It was a game in which a revived Anfield – a cacophony of noise, verve and colour – inspired players to victory over one of Europe’s top sides.
From then on – certainly in European competition – Klopp’s men (and certainly Klopp himself) played off atmospheres. One of the most iconic moments being Klopp’s celebration after Divock Origi’s 96th-minute winner in the Merseyside derby; in the midst of the pandemonium, Klopp, being, well Klopp, ran from the touchline punching the air to the centre-circle, where he bearhugged goalkeeper Alisson.
The stadium, still full to the brim, was in raptures. It was a far cry from the passive, uninspiring Anfield Klopp adopted four years before.
And it’s been centre stage this season. Fortress Anfield has seen off Manchester City – 3-1 – bitter rivals Manchester United – 2-0 – and very recently FA Cup finalists Chelsea – 5-3 (this time without fans of course).
None of the other members of the so-called ‘top six’ have laid a glove on Liverpool at Anfield. And so it’s clear Anfield has been the basis for the club’s perpetual success.
In fact, if Liverpool were merited purely on thier home form in 19/20, they’d sit 8th in the league, on fifty-five points, just three points off Spurs in seventh.