2020 was the year Liverpool stopped waiting and reclaimed its perch.
The Reds won their first Premier League title in 2020, ending their domestic-league championship drought after 30 years. While the feat in itself was significant, the manner of Liverpool’s triumph was breathtaking.
Like every team in every sport, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted Liverpool’s year. However, the Reds returned from the pause, claimed their prize and embarked on the new campaign intent on retaining what they waited so long, and worked so hard, to win.
Here’s a look at seven storylines that defined Liverpool’s year.
Reds’ storm extends deep into winter
Liverpool entered 2020 already having won 18 and drawn one of the 19 Premier League games they played in the first half of the 38-game season. Although the title win appeared to be a foregone conclusion Jan. 1, the Reds erased all doubt by winning their first eight Premier League games in the new year. Their loss to Watford on Feb. 29 ended a 44-game Premier League unbeaten run, which spanned parts of two seasons.
Champions League exit, then pause
Atletico Madrid dashed Liverpool’s hopes of defending its UEFA Champions League crown by beating the Reds in the round of 16. Had Liverpool’s star goalkeeper Alisson not suffered an injury ahead of the series, Liverpool-Atletico Madrid might have unfolded differently. The Reds lost 1-0 in the first leg but sent the series to extra time with a 1-0 win in normal time in the second leg. However, Atletico Madrid outscored the Reds 3-1 during the 30 additional minutes to secure a 4-2 aggregate win March 11.
In a matter of days, the Premier League would shut down for three-plus months.
Return to glory
The sports hiatus couldn’t deny what Liverpool had earned, and the 2019-20 season resumed with the Reds needing just one win to clinch the title. Following a goal-less draw with Everton in the first game after the restart, Liverpool thrashed Crystal Palace 4-0 on June 24 to secure its crown.
Captain Jordan Henderson lifted the Premier League trophy July 22 at Anfield, following the win over Chelsea in Liverpool’s last home game of the season.
The shortest offseason in Premier League history would begin four days later and last around six weeks.
Liverpool’s 2020-21 Premier League season already was underway and Kostas Tsimikas had been the only offseason arrival by mid-September. The Reds’ transfer business then became really interesting.
Liverpool signed world-class midfielder Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich and rising-star forward Diogo Jota from Wolves on Sept. 18 and Sept. 19, respectively, with hopes they would bolster a team looking to win trophies on all fronts.
The ACL injury superstar defender Virgil van Dijk suffered Oct. 17 was a sign of a looming rash of ailments. Fellow starting center back Joe Gomez damaged his knee Nov. 11, leaving Liverpool desperately short of experience in the heart of its defense.
LFC Academy products Rhys Williams, 19, and Nathaniel Phillips, 23, have helped Liverpool’s defense weather the storm. Fellow graduate Curtis Jones, 19, has added energy and guile to the Reds’ midfield, and Caoimhin Kelleher has performed capably as a backup goalkeeper.
Back on top
Liverpool moved atop the Premier League standings Dec. 16 with a win over Tottenham. Despite all the disruption, the Reds will finish 2020 in the same position in which they started the year.