An absolutely brilliant game to grace the trophy ceremony. Liverpool had nothing to play for; Chelsea, sitting in 3rd spot, needed a point to seal a Champions League spot. The game started in a balanced way, then the Reds just got on fire, and 3-0 wasn’t flattering. Chelsea pulled one back just before the half. Things looked easy at 4-1, but credit the Blues for fighting to get back to 4-3 before the win was sealed at 5-3. Great final performance at Anfield, in front of an empty stand 😦 but with families present 🙂 after safety local officials had reversed a decision to not allow them into the match.
So, onto the real main event, the League Champions trophy presentation. Fittingly, Sir Kenny Dalglish was there for the honours—who was the manager when Liverpool won the First Division in 1990. Klopp came up first, and then went stage left as did the back room staff, then the rest of the squad that didn’t play, then the squad for the day, then ‘Hendo’, captain Jordan Henderson, sadly injured. He did the now-customary fast feet shuffle and then the hoist.
It was surreal to have the players as joyful as they could be but without the normally raucous Anfield crowd. But, the ceremony was in the Kop. Many watched in pubs and at home and I imagine the city is rocking and will be still till the weekend and the last game of the season, away at Newcastle.
James Robertson made a fitting connection of the 96 points and the 96 who died at Hillsborough.
More numbers: captain Jordon Henderson is 30; Liverpool win after 30 years.
Henderson was born in Sunderland, across the River Tyne from Newcastle; arch rivals to the core. Sunday’s game could be interesting.
Many words can and will come for ever, but now is just the time to savour the moment, long delayed this year after three decades of waiting.