In 2018, Liverpool found themselves in the same position as last year on the final day of the Premier League season. A win means Champions League qualification for next year and anything else meant potential disaster. Now, to be fair, there is a very important game on May 26th that is also a way in to next year’s Champion League campaign, that was not available last year. But if I was a betting man, which I am not, I would rather rest my fate with a win over Brighton at home than Real Madrid in Kiev (Hammer the LFC money line because #6 is loading…). Jurgen Klopp knew that Anfield was awaiting in full voice and a strong team was needed for a potential BHA bus parking so they did not take it off the chin on the final day. Knowing what was on the line, Klopp started the usual suspects but included Dom Solanke up front with the Big 3 running with him. An hour before kickoff Liverpool let everyone knew that 2 weeks from now was not on their minds, and three points and a show for the supporters was vital.
The game was a slow burner from the start, with Liverpool playing their usual high-press, high-stress footy while BHA sat back and tried to defend the onslaught. It all was looking swell from the Seagulls until the 26th minute, when the King of Egypt, Allah’s Gift to Football, and your 2017/2018 Golden Boot Winner, Mohamed Salah slotted past his 32nd goal of the Premier League season to give Liverpool the 1–0 lead. What more can you say about the curly-haired Egyptian? He has scored more goals than any single player in a 38 Premier League season, has carried Liverpool to a Champions League Final, and the best part being that he is a Chelsea “reject” while Mourinho was at the helm. He has received almost every individual honor a footy player can hope to, but has remained certain that the only silverware he wants is the trophy awaiting the team in 2 weeks time. His work-rate has been incredible and is visibly upset when he is not playing up to the expectations that he places on himself. Nobody expected this type of inaugural season as a Red, but I am just glad that he is on my team.
Salah’s goal opened the flood-gates for Liverpool with BHA having no type of attacking play to even sniff Karius’ goal. Dejan Lovren landed a bullet header, DOMINIC SOLANKE score his first goal as a Liverpool player, and Andy Roberston added a tally solidifying himself as the best Left-Back in Europe (not a hot take do not @ me). Under the bright May sun of Merseyside, Liverpool handled business again with a 4–0 win at home. They did not lose at home during this campaign, solidifying Anfield again as a “fortress,” with visiting teams again understanding that this is not an easy place to get a result.
The 2017/2018 Premier League season was again a rollercoaster ride for Liverpool staff, players, and fans alike. It was one that in January, many were calling for Klopp’s head, seeking “changes” that were “needed in order to succeed.” Coutinho was sold and left everyone asking, what will we do without him? Virgil Van Djik was purchased for 75 million, which raised even more questions about our transfer decisions. Now looking back on it, how wrong a lot of us were. Liverpool finish the season in 4th place with a Champions League Final awaiting them. This season tested the patience of everyone that supports the team from near and far, but in my opinion this season was again a step in the right direction. There are obvious areas that this team can still improve and I believe that Klopp will receive the backing he needs in order to make the necessary moves in the summer transfer window. There is a lot to be excited about when it comes to the future of this club and the world is taking notice.
This team has found its identity under Jurgen Klopp and have the backing of its millions of supporters. There is still work to be done in Kiev with number 6 looming in the balance. The focus shifts to Real Madrid. Liverpool have taken hold of the “underdog” character, with not many believing that one more game can be pieced together by Klopp and his men. One game. One game to send a fanbase into delirium. One game to send a message to all that this team is back. One game for Jurgen Klopp to truly change “Doubters into Believers.” One game to walk through the storm, together, as Liverpool Football Club.
Allez Allez Allez, Allez Allez Allez.
Up The Reds.