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Liverpool’s road to Premier League glory

Liverpool’s swashbuckling season has seen the English league title return to Anfield for the first time in 30 years. The three-decade wait to return to the summit of the domestic league has followed a winding road.

Back in 1990, when Liverpool claimed their 18th English league crown, Madonna was striking a pose at number one in the charts and New Order had just released World in Motion ahead of that summer’s World Cup.

Few who stood on the Kop that May day to witness the joyous lifting of the Division One trophy would fear it would take another 30 years for the title to return to Anfield.

But at last, return it has, and in breathtaking style as Klopp’s conquerors produced one of the most dominant marches to a title ever seen. The 2019-20 conquerors will go down in history for their record breaking stroll to become Premier League champions.

Liverpool’s 30 year wait for the title

But the tale of how the Reds went from the dominant force in English football as the final decade of the 20th century dawned to a wait of over 1,150 league games until the next title would arrive is one filled with near-misses interspersed with smatterings of glory and false dawns.

Two FA Cups, four League Cups and a triumphant two European Championships have made their way into the Anfield trophy cabinet since 1990. Yet just as Liverpool were on the brink of glory, the one honour that the red half of Merseyside had coveted for so long would only finally arrive following a hiatus caused by a global emergency.

When football restarted following the coronavirus crisis the title was at last confirmed <a href=”https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/51884262”>without a Liverpool player taking to the pitch</a> as also-rans Manchester City finally gave up their champions crown with defeat against Chelsea on 25th June.

It’s been a long wait… Since 1990, 239 players have worn the famous Liverpool shirt under the watch of nine different managers. The Anfield hierarchy have splashed out £1.7 billion in transfer fees in those three decades and nearly 25 million turnstile clicks have been registered by fans entering the hallowed ground.

From Hansen to Henderson and Venison to van Dijk

The 1989/90 Liverpool side managed by Kenny Dalglish captured the league title with two games to spare with a victory over Queens Park Rangers. King Kenny hung up his boots for the final time at the end of that triumphant season. The player manager selected himself for a first outing onto the pitch in 20 months for the final 10 minutes of the curtain closer against Derby County.

That Liverpool squad contained the legendary Barnes and Beardsley axis who had been so instrumental in the team’s successes during the late 80s. Both would be in the England squad heading for Italia 90 with Barnes adding one of the most famous raps in music-footy history to the soundtrack of the summer.

Club legend Alan Hansen was still at the heart of the Reds’ defence and was joined by the long-serving Barry Venison and Republic of Ireland international Steve Staunton. Bruce Grobellar played almost every game of the season in the Liverpool goal and up front was a resurgent Ian Rush who had scored a goal every other game in the title pursuit.

And now, the 2020 champions from Anfield will forever enter the hallowed stadium’s hall of fame. Club captain Jordan Henderson is already set to rival Steven Gerrard as the most influential Liverpool midfielder of a generation. Virgil van Dijk has underlined his position as possibly the best defender in the world and joins talisman Mohamed Salah and striker Sadio Mane among the favourites to win the 2020 Ballon D’or.

The challenge for the current crop led by Jurgen Klopp is to follow this amazing season. Can they possibly exceed this season’s exploits and raise the Liverpool scarves aloft upon the Kop once more?

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