Liverpool 2019/20 Review: End of Season Report Card for the Triumphant Reds

After 30 years of hurt, Liverpool finally got their hands on the Premier League trophy at the end of the 2019/20 season - and in some style too. Unlike the nail-biting end to last season's title race, this term's battle was essentially over before Christmas, with the Reds relentless in their pursuit of glory.


Jurgen Klopp's side recorded a staggering 32 wins in their triumphant league season, and produced a points tally only bettered by Manchester City's 'centurions' of two seasons ago.


Here's a look at how Liverpool's season panned out, with an overall grade for the report card...



League Performance


Premier League - 1st


In truth, the question for much of this season was when the title would be secured, not if.


The Reds began the campaign with a 4-1 thrashing of newly promoted Norwich City and didn't looked back. Building on their excellent form of last season, Liverpool were simply unstoppable, racking up a staggering 61 points out of a possible 63 in their opening 21 league fixtures.


While it may have been rivals Manchester United who ensured their winning run was halted, Reds' fans will rest easy knowing they finished the season a whopping 33 points ahead of their bitter rivals.


Klopp guided Liverpool to their first league title since 1990

It was the victory over main challengers City in November that truly set Liverpool on their way, with a 3-1 win stretching the Reds' lead to eight points with only 12 games played. As the title appeared something of a certainty, the focus shifted to the possibility of matching - and bettering - Arsenal's glorious 'Invincible' season.


Those hopes were well and truly distinguished following a bizarre 3-0 defeat to now relegated Watford at the end of February, while they also went on to lose to both City and the Gunners following the restart. In fairness however, the latter two defeats came about after Klopp's men had already secured the title and really, who cares if they went unbeaten or not!


With a quick turnaround ahead of the new season, Liverpool will have to quickly forget their league success in preparation for what should be a mouthwatering title race next term. You'd still put your money on the Reds though, surely?



Domestic Cup Performance


Carabao Cup - Quarter-Final


U23's manager Neil Critchley was in charge for Liverpool's defeat to Aston Villa

Jurgen Klopp really did irk a lot of people with his cup selections this season, although you can't exactly blame him. With Liverpool's 2018/19 Champions League success placing them in the Club World Cup in December, the bright minds at the FA decided to give the Reds little to no help at all by arranging their Carabao Cup quarter-final clash with Aston Villa for 17 December - the day before they were due to play Monterrey in Qatar.


In the end, Klopp left it to Neil Critchley and his Under-23s to take the trip to Villa Park, with the brave youngsters unfortunately being beaten 5-0 by a much more experienced Villa side. The move did somewhat workout for the former Borussia Dortmund manager however, with his senior squad going on to lift the Club World Cup trophy after defeating Brazilian side Flamengo.


FA Cup - Fifth Round


Ross Barkley and Billy Gilmour starred for Chelsea against Liverpool

It was a similar story in the FA Cup, with the German choosing to name 'weaker' sides in all of their games in the competition. In the third round, an incredibly young starting XI brought humiliation upon rivals Everton - and new manager Carlo Ancelotti - with youngster Curtis Jones scoring a 71st minute winner.


In the fourth round, Klopp again came under fire after he didn't attend the club's replay fixture against Shrewsbury Town, with Critchley once again tasked with leading out his young side. This time however Klopp's absence worked a treat as Liverpool clinched a 1-0 victory, while his senior stars earned a well deserved rest.


The fifth round tie against Chelsea proved one step too far for the Reds, with former Toffees man Ross Barkley sealing a 2-0 victory for the Blues.



Continental Cup Performance


Champions League - Last-16


Adrian was partly to blame as Liverpool crashed out of the Champions League

Perhaps the only real low point in a season of glorious highs was Liverpool's weak defence of their Champions League title. The Reds had brilliantly overcome Barcelona - and then Spurs - to clinch their sixth European trophy in 2019 and were many people's favourites to retain their crown this season.


After an entertaining group stage in which Liverpool saw off Napoli and an Erling Haaland inspired Salzburg to top their group, the Reds were drawn against Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid in the last-16. In a year full of surprises, there was no real shock when the first leg descended into attack versus defence, with Simeone's men putting in a characteristically resilient yet defensive performance.


Atletico's 1-0 home victory set up a similar scenario in the second leg, with a dominant Liverpool ultimately undone by a couple of Adrian blunders. Perhaps all their focus was simply on the pursuit of the league title, but it is something of a disappointment that the Reds won't be participating in the end of season Champions League extravaganza.



Best Player


While it could undoubtedly go to any of Liverpool's starting XI - particularly Sadio Mané and Virgil van Dijk - the real key man this season was captain Jordan Henderson. The Englishman has had something of a turbulent start to life at Anfield, but the last few seasons have seen him emerge as a real driving force and one of Europe's greatest box-to-box midfielders.


Steven Gerrard may be the iconic figure at the club in modern times, yet not even he had the honour of lifting the Premier League trophy. This charismatic figure is truly a footballer that even rival fans struggle to hate, and arguably his nation's most valuable midfielder.


(It's worth remembering that Brendan Rodgers was keen to get rid of the former Sunderland man as part of a swap deal for Fulham's Clint Dempsey back in 2012. Thank God that never happened.)



Worst Player


Shaqiri made only seven Premier League appearances this season

And no don't listen to those Twitter fools, it's not Roberto Firmino,


Picking the best player may have been a hard task, but selecting the worst is somewhat easier - Xherdan Shaqiri. The Swiss wideman has been anonymous this season and is surely destined for the exit door in this summer.



The Manager


What more needs to be said about Jurgen Klopp?


The eccentric German has done a remarkable job at Anfield, taking a side that included the likes of Alberto Moreno and Jon Flanagan and building a ruthless title winning squad out of it - all without breaking the bank too regularly. Yes there's been big outlays on the likes of Van Dijk and Alisson, but these were essentially offset by the sale of Philippe Coutinho, while star men Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah were relatively cheap arrivals.


Much like at Dortmund, Klopp has built a hardworking yet talented side and has transformed a number of players into world-beaters. Take Andrew Robertson for example, a young man signed somewhat under the radar from Hull who is now arguably the world's best in his position. A lot of credit must indeed go the player, but he'd be the first to tell you his manager is the one who deserves the praise.


Whether or not Klopp can continue to inspire and motivate his side remains to be seen, but he will forever be an icon at Liverpool for reviving a club that was going nowhere fast.



Overall Grade


Liverpool have been the kid at the top of the class throughout this season and deserve all the praise they are getting.


Grade: A++



Source : 90min