What records next? The 2-0 win at the London Stadium took Liverpool to 106 points on a rolling 38-game basis, beating the all-time English league record of 104, that they themselves had only just recently set; before which, 102 was the best any team had posted.
Concurrent with the 12-month rolling league record, the Reds – in Europe – also beat Bayern Munich 3-1 (away), Barcelona 4-0, Spurs 2-0 in Madrid, and defeated Chelsea and Flamengo in the finals of the European Super Cup and World Club Championship, whilst topping the group stages of the Champions League in 2019 whilst defending the trophy. (Hmm, not bad I suppose, but room for improvement.…)
Going into the game, the Reds were five points better off than any League team had ever managed in the top flight, and this applied across all the major European leagues, too. Liverpool are currently rated the 4th-best team in history on the Elo rankings, and closing in on the top three.
As with the win at Wolves, this was achieved without the prodigious powers of Sadio Mané (how could Liverpool ever cope without him?etc etc?) who limped out of that previous league game early on. Mané joins Xherdan Shaqiri, James Milner, Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne on the sidelines, while Naby Keita, Dejan Lovren, Joël Matip and Fabinho are all seeking match fitness after returning from long layoffs; all of the latter three looked woefully off the pace at Shrewsbury, as one might expect, while Takumi Minamino only arrived after a month of inaction in Austria.
Liverpool also became the 13th team in English history to beat every other team in the top division, albeit the first time the Reds had achieved the feat. As Graeme Riley explained, “Previous earliest by date [it was achieved by] was Preston on 9th Feb 1889. Earliest by percentage of games played was Manchester City in 2017/18 after 81.6%. LFC have played just 63.2%. Unlikely ever to be bettered.”
Graeme also pointed out that should Liverpool beat Southampton at the weekend it will result in the biggest ever gap between 1st and 2nd in top-flight English football history. And, of course, it’s not even like Manchester City are having an historically bad season for a team in 2nd place; it’s just that no one has ever won 23 of their first 24 games before. City were supposed to be the best side ever.
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