6 interesting events that happened during Liverpool's 44-game unbeaten run
- Many interesting events transpired during Liverpool's unbeaten run.
And so it was over. Liverpool's coveted dream of emulating Arsenal's 'invincibles' of 2004 was squished by Watford in a shocking 3-0 loss.
That also means the Reds fell agonisingly short of matching the Arsenal record of going 49 games without a loss. But in the bigger scenario, this defeat would hardly have an impact on the title tile as the Reds still maintain a seemingly unassailable lead of 22 points at the top.
Liverpool last lost a Premier League match on 4th of January last year, when Manchester City narrowly edged them out in a 2-1 win. A lot has transpired in English football since.
Let's look at the six main things to have happened.
#6 Liverpool accumulated 122 points out of 135 - 17 more than any other side!
Since 4th January 2019, there have been 45 games played in the Premier League. And no team has accumulated more points in that time stretch than Liverpool's tally of 125! Even consecutive league winners Manchester City cannot hold a candle to that tally.
The Sky Blues, largely owing to a topsy-turvy campaign this time around, have accrued only 105 points from a possible 135. That's still impressive when you consider that the rest of the bunch are nowhere near in plain sight.
Chelsea come next in the charts with 73 points, followed by Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, who accrued 68 and 63 points respectively. Brighton and Hove constitute the lowest point tally in this period with only 38.
#5 Jesse Lingard went more than 12 months without a goal or an assist!
Manchester United's beleaguered midfielder is witnessing some of the worst days of his career. In fact, his footballing days has hit an all-time nadir. He was also brutally trolled for his barren run as he went over 12 months without scoring or assisting in a single Premier League game.
Lingard's last piece of action came on 29th January 2019, when he provided an assist in the 2-2 draw to Burnley. Three hundred and ninety six days have passed since, and he's yet to be directly involved in a Premier League goal again. The Red Devils star now contends with an uncertain future, as rumors of a possible exit in the summer can be heard above the din.
#4 Manchester City lost seven league games
Manchester City's nerve-wracking 2-1 win over Liverpool at the turn of 2019 eventually proved to be the difference as the Citizens pipped the Merseyside outfit to the league title by just a point. However since then, they have gone on to lose seven times, six of which have come in the ongoing season.
Since the crucial victory over Reds, Pep Guardiola's swashbuckling side only went down (unexpectedly) to Newcastle United last season, but a dramatic decline in form this term has culminated in six defeats from 27 games. This downturn of fortunes coupled with Liverpool's astronomic run has opened up a gap of 22 points at the top!
#3 Jamie Vardy scored 28 goals in the league - more than anyone
Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy may not claim as much appreciation or accreditation as the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sergio Aguero, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang et al, but his goal-scoring returns since the 4th of January 2019, is second to none as he is the most prolific Premier League striker during that period with 28 goals.
Last year's Golden Boot winners Sadio Mane, Salah and Aubameyang trail the Foxes hitman narrowly with 27, 25 and 25 strikes respectively. Manchester City's Sergio Aguero too has 27 strikes during that run, but mind you, Vardy leads the pack despite not having scored in any of his last seven appearances - a run stretching back by over two months!
#2 The Premier League has witnessed 18 managerial changes
Even as the Reds went from strength to strength to mount an incredible run of 44 undefeated games, many of their Premier League counterparts struggled to patch together favourable results and subsequently underwent managerial changes. In fact, there were 18 in total!
Huddersfield started the 'trend' by sacking David Wagner on 14th Jan, whereas West Ham were the last side to undergo a managerial change when Manuel Pellegrini was shown the door in December. In the intervening period, Chelsea (Frank Lampard for Maurizio Sarri), Arsenal (Mikel Arteta for Unai Emery) and Tottenham Hotspur (Jose Mourinho for Mauricio Pochettino) were the only sides from 'top six' to have changed managers.
Ironically Liverpool's latest conquerors, Watford, too had seen a change of guard as Nigel Pearson took over the helm from Quique Sanchez on 9th December.
#1 Liverpool won three trophies, including a sixth Champions League title
Liverpool's scorching run of 97 points in the Premier League may not have yielded the league title, but a highly impressive campaign bore greater dividends in Europe as the Reds lifted a sixth Champions League crown.
Jurgen Klopp's men were relentless throughout the campaign, beating some top shouts such as PSG, Napoli, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, and then finally Tottenham Hotspur in the Madrid showpiece, as the long wait for a major silverware finally came to an end. They then went on to hoist the UEFA Supercup and the Club World Cup title in what was a memorable 2019.
Here are some other fascinating things to have happened outside the Premier League:
1) Lionel Messi won a sixth Ballon d'Or
2) Portugal won the maiden edition of the UEFA Nations League
3) Tottenham Hotspur reached their first ever Champions League final
4) Manchester City did the first ever 'English treble'
Published 01 Mar 2020, 14:58 IST