In Depth

Unstoppable: Klopp’s Liverpool are in a league of their own

Runaway leaders now 13 points clear and a year unbeaten in the Premier League

Premier League Liverpool 2 Sheffield United 0

Liverpool have started the new year as they finished the last - with another impressive victory.

Their latest win, 2-0 against Sheffield United last night, has extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to a massive 13 points. Jurgen Klopp’s men also have a game in hand on their title rivals.  

The goals at Anfield came from Mohamed Salah, who capitalised on an error from George Baldock after just four minutes, and Sadio Mane midway through the second half.

Title race over

Barring a spectacular implosion in the second half of the season the title is Liverpool’s, ending a 30-year wait on Merseyside for the biggest prize in English football. 

But their nearest rivals, Leicester City and Manchester City, know that they have little chance of clawing back the deficit given the way that Klopp’s side have played this season.

Unbeaten, the Reds have dropped just two points from the possible 60 in the campaign, but their sparkling form extends into last season as well.

History boys

As BBC Sport explains, Liverpool have earned a place in history “as one of a select group of teams to have gone 365 days unbeaten in the Premier League”. 

They last tasted defeat in the Premier League against Man City on 3 January 2019. Since then the Reds have gone 37 games without losing, with their only domestic defeats coming against Wolves in last season’s FA Cup and against Aston Villa last month, when a second string team lost their Carabao Cup tie.

Operation invincibles

Otherwise, it’s been 12 months of unadulterated success and the Reds are now only the third Premier League team to go a year without losing. 

Arsenal were the first, who avoided defeat in 49 matches in the 2003-04 season, and Chelsea, from October 2004 to November 2005.

Liverpool’s next target is surely to emulate Arsenal and Preston North End (1888-89) and become only the third club in the history of the English top-flight to go a season unbeaten.

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Merseyside derby

Next up for the Reds is Sunday’s FA Cup third round clash with Everton, another challenging fixture for a club that has played six games in three competitions in 17 days (including a World Club Cup final in Qatar). 

Yet despite the daunting schedule, Klopp has no doubt his squad will be up for the test.

He said: “Whichever line-up I choose for Sunday, and I don’t know in this moment what we need, but if you want to go through you must throw your soul on the pitch because we need you 100%. 

“I don’t know what the line-up will be but it will be the best for us in the moment.”

After Sunday’s Merseyside derby cup clash with Everton, Liverpool will return to Premier League action on Saturday 11 January when they travel to Tottenham.

Today’s back pages

England cricketer Rory Burns ruled out after football kickabout and it’s year we go for Liverpool

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