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John Aldridge: Title still not won but safe to say tide has finally turned


All of Roberto Firmino’s goals in the Premier League this season have come away from home

All of Roberto Firmino’s goals in the Premier League this season have come away from home

Action Images via Reuters

Mauricio Pochettino should be in the Manchester United hot seat

Mauricio Pochettino should be in the Manchester United hot seat

All of Roberto Firmino’s goals in the Premier League this season have come away from home

It was a moment Liverpool fans have waited a long time to toast and when it arrived, they were not going to hold back.

Manchester United supporters have taunted and teased Liverpool for the last 30 years as their team became the serial winners in English football by clinching 13 league titles and ramming their success down the throats of their great rivals time and again.

While Liverpool responded with the odd European win and a few domestic cup successes, the big one missing has always been the English league title and last Sunday at Anfield it felt like we reached the moment when the roles were finally reversed.

As Mohamed Salah confirmed Liverpool's 2-0 win against United, the Anfield crowd started singing 'we're gonna win the league' for the first time and the passion behind that chant was spurred on by the years of hurt inflicted on those fans by United's success.


Football success is cyclical and unfortunately for Liverpool they have had to wait three long, painful decades for the moment to arrive when they could claim to have finally beaten United into submission, becoming top dogs in England all over again.

I will never say the title is in the bag for Liverpool until the finishing touches have been added to this incredible season, but to have reached this point with just two points dropped and a massive lead at the top of the table meant a celebration was in order once United were beaten.

No Liverpool fan has said this title race is over yet because we have all lived through too many disappointments in recent decades to contemplate that fantasy, but to give some back to the United fans who have laughed at Liverpool's expense for so long was very satisfying.

Incredibly, I still don't feel as if Jurgen Klopp's team are playing to their full potential this season, because the United game was another example of a team failing to ram home their advantage due to a lack of killer instinct from the front three of Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino. It was men against boys for most of the United match, but they were still in contention until the final few minutes because Liverpool failed to take enough of their chances to put them to the sword.

We have seen that time and again from this team over this remarkable unbeaten Premier League run as aside from the odd hammering, they have tended to do just enough to get over the winning line more often than not.

After his fine strike against United was cancelled out by a VAR decision, Firmino still hasn't scored a league goal at Anfield all season and it is remarkable to note that a team with such a massive lead at the top of the table does not have a player in the mix for the top scorer prize.

There is still time for the front three to find their scoring boots. If they do, the Premier League title could be confirmed in record time, but Klopp and his players will not allow themselves to think about that prospect heading into tonight's game at Wolves.


I was in a Liverpool team that had a commanding lead at the top of the table back in 1988 and while we didn't admit it publicly, we knew the job was as good as done when we lost our only two matches against Everton and Nottingham Forest in March and April. We then put Forest in their place a few weeks later by beating them 5-0 at Anfield in a performance that has long been hailed as one of the best seen from an English team and I believe this current Liverpool side is capable of that level of perfection between now and the end of this amazing season.

Going unbeaten through the entire season is a mammoth task, as it is as much a mental challenge as it is a sporting one, with the desire to keep winning when you are in such a strong position hard to maintain.

Wolves were one of the best teams I have seen at Anfield this season and they will fancy their chances of being the first team to beat Liverpool at Molineux this evening, but if Klopp's team play anywhere near their best, they will win again. It's as simple as that.

That's where we are now, with Liverpool dictating to the rest of Premier League once again. And with Klopp signing a deal to stay at the club for another four years, I would expect them to continue to be a leading force for the foreseeable future.

Alex Ferguson famously vowed to knock Liverpool off their perch as the kings of English football at the start of the 1990s and he did that in a grand manner, but the tide has finally turned back in favour of their biggest foes.

Liverpool's time is here at last, with the misery United are living through simply adding to the joy for all who call Anfield home.