It was a dramatic final day of the 2020/21 Premier League season. After a campaign filled with twists and turns, gameweek 38 promised a few more topsy-turvy moments and it lived up to expectations, as there were certainly a few more twists in the tale of this whirlwind season.
Supporters of several clubs would have tuned into the 4pm games with sweat on their brows, and unfortunately for some, the channel would have been switched off in anger come 6pm whilst others danced around their living rooms with glee.
That’s right Liverpool fans, we’re talking about you! A month or two ago, sites like Betdaq gave the Reds little to no chance of finishing in the top four, yet Jürgen Klopp’s men ended up finishing in third — capitalising well on the poor form of Leicester City and Chelsea.
So, with a place in next season’s Champions League secured, let’s take a look back at Liverpool’s season.
Top of the tree at Christmas
As most of the top teams stumbled out of the blocks following a quick turnaround from the 2019/20 season, it looked like Liverpool were starting to get a grip at the top of the table come Christmas. Despite the injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, the Reds beat Crystal Palace 7-0 on December 19th to extend their gap at the top to five points clear of local rivals Everton. At that point, many feared Liverpool were once again going to run away with the Premier League title.
Given the way Klopp’s men so brutally ripped Palace apart with ease prior to Christmas, it’s hard fathom the demise that followed. Five games without a win, which included Burnley ending their impressive unbeaten home record, resulted in Liverpool dropping to fourth, and despite a slight glimmer of revival with victories over Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United, the Reds won just once in their next seven games — a run which included five defeats at Anfield. The 1-0 home defeat to Fulham left Liverpool eighth in the league and was perhaps their lowest point in the campaign.
The climb back into the top four
As we entered the final month of the season, six games unbeaten meant Liverpool looked better value for the top four. However, they still relied on favours from elsewhere, which they were given as Chelsea and Leicester’s end-of-season form left a lot to be desired. Nonetheless, the Reds still needed to capitalise on that and they did, beating Manchester United, West Bromwich Albion, Burnley and Crystal Palace to leapfrog the Blues and the Foxes into third.
Moment of the season
The moment of the season has to be Alisson Becker’s dramatic extra-time header against West Brom. With the scores level at 1-1, the goalkeeper made his way upfield for a late corner kick and he leaped like a salmon to meet Trent-Alexander Arnold’s cross and fire his effort past Sam Johnstone. It sparked jubilant scenes and was a moment to savour for the Brazilian, who had lost his father earlier in the year.
Mohamed Salah was Liverpool’s top scorer in the league by some distance. With 22 goals the Egyptian finished just a single strike behind Golden Boot winner Harry Kane and bagged 11 goals more than Liverpool’s second top scorer Sadio Mané (11).
Player of the Season
Liverpool’s Player of the Season award has to go to Nathaniel Phillips. The 24-year-old stepped up to the mark in the absence of Liverpool’s regular centre-backs and rarely put a foot wrong at the back.