News ID: 263545
Published: 0313 GMT December 27, 2019

Liverpool’s thrashing of Leicester confirms long wait for title is coming to an end

Liverpool’s thrashing of Leicester confirms long wait for title is coming to an end

Trent Alexander-Arnold (C) celebrates his goal with Jordan Henderson (L) and Andrew Robertson during a 4-0 victory over Leicester City at King Power Stadium, Leicester, Britain, on December 26, 2019.

Liverpool will not say it – there have been too many near misses and false dawns in the 30 years since its last title win to place temptation in fate's path.

The lockdown started moments after Jurgen Klopp's side produced arguably its finest performance of the season to overwhelm its nearest challenger Leicester, BBC Sport reported.

Liverpool's players, perfectly understandably, were right on title message: Nothing taken for granted; long way to go; race not over.

If they will not say it, then others will. And it can be said with some certainty after the manner in which the Reds produced a 4-0 win that even then did not do justice to their superiority.

This was the night when it became clear that the title race is now surely over.

Liverpool's rivals, including reigning champion Manchester City, will continue to fight the brave fight – but every measure, and the sheer relentlessness of Klopp's side, says they are now in a fight for second place.

It would take a collapse of unthinkable proportions from a Liverpool team which has forgotten how to lose league games, and is at the peak of its powers, to throw this away now.

Klopp, reflecting on that huge advantage, said, "It doesn't sound like anything has been decided to my ears. We are just trying everything we can do to be ready for our next games."

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers was never going to give up but his message was that of a realist.

"They are going to be very hard to stop. They are a fantastic team, confidence is high," he said.

"They have become winners and haven't lost many games in the past 18 months. To lose the games they would have to do – they now have got enough players, experience and quality to get the job done."

And before you even get started on the imperious, swaggering nature of Liverpool's performances, perfectly illustrated by this demolition of the Foxes, a glance at the statistics shows this is a side that is champion-in-waiting.

Liverpool, which has lost one league game in 2019 and is on a 34-game unbeaten run in the division, now probably needs to lose four of its last 20 in this campaign. And that is factoring in that its challengers must keep winning all of their matches, a tough assignment when both Manchester City and Leicester have not come within touching distance of Liverpool's consistency this season.

This was the biggest margin of victory in a meeting between teams starting the day in the top two positions since then-leader Manchester City won 6-1 at Manchester United in October 2011 – and the margin here could have been even wider.

Liverpool now has the joint-highest lead any team has had on Boxing Day in Premier League history – on a par with Manchester United's advantage in 1993-94, when it went on to become champion.

This is all bolstering the seemingly unbreakable confidence of a team that has looked on a mission from day one of the campaign, determined to make up for the disappointment, at least in the Premier League context, of last season.

Liverpool did not lose the title last season. Manchester City won it. There were no questions about the Reds' mental strength. They were simply undone by a superb team that put together 14 successive wins to retain its crown.

And yet Liverpool is on a different level this season, untouchable in pursuit of that elusive title.

The Champions League win set the platform and there has been a sense all season that it will end that long wait to get back on its domestic perch for the first time since 1990.

Leicester did its best to test Liverpool's nerve with a pre-match display of pyrotechnics and noise.

The effect? Nil. Not even a glancing blow.

Liverpool was all over the host from the start and the star of the show was right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, who created two goals for Roberto Firmino and scored himself with a rasping drive. The 21-year-old England international has now assisted eight in the league and 10 in all competitions this season.

This was flagged up as Liverpool's biggest away test away so far – but it was barely in trouble and hugely in control. It was a chilling message to anyone with ideas of toppling the Reds.

This was the night the league leader confirmed – if there were any doubts – that the long wait for the title will surely end at some point in the not-too-distant future.

Liverpool's win was that of Premier League champions-elect.





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