Liverpool can no longer post the Premier League record for most points in a season.
The Reds dropped points for the third time since being crowned champions with an unexpected 2-1 defeat at Arsenal, which featured uncharacteristic errors from Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker.
Liverpool miss out on points record
Manchester City’s champions of the 2017/18 campaign safely have the title wrapped up in terms of statistics, but that’s not to say that Liverpool won’t subjectively be remembered as the GOATs.
However, here at GIVEMESPORT, we’re not sure that Liverpool are deserving of that title anyway, though it goes without saying that they have achieved some incredible things under Jurgen Klopp.
The greatest of all time, though? Well, we think we’ve discovered at least eight reasons why that shouldn’t be the case and they couldn’t be more applicable after the defeat in north London.
Why Liverpool aren’t the GOATs
That being said, we can’t stress hard enough that Liverpool are still one of the greatest ever, so take everything we say below with a pinch of salt and perhaps we’ll argue the opposite case very soon…
But for now, check out our thoughts on why Liverpool’s 2019/20 champions aren’t quite deserving of GOAT status:
1. Distinct lack of goals
With two games left to play, Liverpool have ‘only’ scored 77 times in the Premier League this season.
Not only does that not make them the top-scoring side in the league in 2019/20, Manchester City have 16(!!!) more strikes already, but this isn’t even the freest-scoring Liverpool team since 1992.
Brendan Rodgers’ 2013/14 title-challengers managed to amass 101 strikes and we even doubt that the Reds will be able to surpass their total of 89 from last season. Speaking of which…
2. 2018/19 Liverpool were better
Uh huh, you heard me right.
As we’ve just said, Liverpool scored far more goals when they finished second last season and they also conceded fewer goals with 22 compared to the 29 they’ve already shipped in 2019/20.
Just to add insult to injury, Liverpool lost two fewer games last season and their goal difference of +67 is miles ahead of the +48 that Klopp’s men have at the moment.
Alisson and Adrian only have 15 clean sheets between them this year, which is a far cry from the 21 of last season, while the Reds must win at Newcastle on the final day to ensure their away form doesn’t decline from 2018/19.
3. Three defeats too many
Sure, the top-line statistic here is that Arsenal went the season unbeaten in 2003/04 and Liverpool have fallen short of going ‘Invincible’, but there’s more to it than that.
Liverpool’s tally of defeats now moves them behind 2004/05 Chelsea, who only lost once, as well as Manchester City’s centurions and their two defeats.
But most damningly of all, this season isn’t even Liverpool’s best or second best year at losing the fewest games because Rafael Benitez’s 2008/09 title-challengers only lost twice.
4. WHO they dropped points against
Drawing 1-1 at home to Burnley might not seem like a disaster, but City’s centurions battered Sean Dyche’s men 3-0 when they came to town and the Clarets finished even higher that season in seventh.
Watford away? Well, that was a 6-0 annihilation for City during their 100-point year and the Hornets entered that game with an unbeaten start, not in relegation form as they did before humbling Liverpool.
Everton away? 3-0 for City. United away? 2-1 for City.
And sure, Liverpool conceded four goals against City just as the Citizens did against them in 2017/18, but at least Pep Guardiola’s men put up three strikes of their own in retaliation.
5. Little in the way of challengers
This is out of Liverpool’s hands, we know, but it doesn’t exactly fit with the narrative that Liverpool are the GOATs and the maximum points City can now amass in second place is 81.
Even if that was the case, it would mean a runner-up hadn’t collected fewer points since the 2015/16 season, which is something of an anomaly in itself with Leicester City bagging the title.
6. Their home record has been done before
Winning every single game at Anfield barring one is pretty insane and we’re not debating that for one second, but it’s not the first time a Premier League champion has achieved this feat.
Manchester City’s 2011/12 champions won every single one of their games at the Etihad Stadium – save a 3-3 draw with Sunderland – despite by no means being legendary winners on 89 points.
7. Their performances in other competitions
Bowing out of the League Cup with a 5-0 thrashing to Aston Villa, exiting the Champions League at the round of 16 and tepidly losing to Chelsea in the FA Cup isn’t exactly a glowing resume.
Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ are often panned for their performances in the cups, so let’s be fair here and point out that Liverpool didn’t make it as far as Arsene Wenger’s men in all three competitions.
Oh, and there’s a small Manchester United team from 1998/99 that achieved something special.
8. Title-winning margin out of their hands
You’d think that one of the best ways to prove Liverpool are the greatest of all time would be to point at the fact they had the biggest title-winning margin in history, but even that’s out of their hands now.
The Reds currently lead the way by 18 points, which is one shy of what City’s centurions achieved, so they’ll have to win their remaining games and hope the Citizens slip up to take the record.
GIVEMESPORT’s Kobe Tong says
That all sounded very harsh, didn’t it?
I think I wanted to outline a few reality checks about Liverpool’s statistics in a season where their displays have been subject to hyperbole, which has gradually lost credence since the restart.
It’s more about putting Liverpool’s season into context as opposed to somehow pulling the rug from underneath them or exposing them as frauds. They’re not, they’re darn brilliant, just not as brilliant as some people say.
For my money, City’s centurions are the GOATs and that’s coming from an Arsenal fan who would love nothing more than to parade the ‘Invincibles’ about as number one.
But I don’t just think Guardiola’s men are top dogs for having won 100 points, it was also the way in which they achieved it and I’m not sure I’ll ever see a better brand of football in the Premier League again.
I love you really, Liverpool, I promise.
- Van Dijk and Maguire’s stats compared
- Jurgen Klopp’s phone call to Akinfenwa
- Match report: Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool