Chelsea won the league. Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Hull have been relegated and the Reds secured Champions League football next season.
Liverpool started the season in the most unexpected way. At the Emirates Stadium they came out on top in a seven-goal thriller but just six days later they lost 2-0 at Turf Moor.
They began their EFL Cup campaign at the end of August, beating Burton Albion 5-0. The win saw them go on an unbeaten run of 15 games which only included three draws. The run put the Reds in second place going into December, just one point behind Chelsea.
Liverpool’s second loss of the season came against Bournemouth. They began by leading 2-0, and kept their two-goal lead despite the Cherries trying to catch up. Then it all went pear-shaped. From 3-1 to 3-4. Terrible defending resulted in an embarrassing loss to yet another lower-ranked team.
But it was the only loss of December, as the Reds went on another unbeaten run, this time for seven games.
January is where it all went wrong. Sadio Mané was away at the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal. Philippe Coutinho was recovering from an injury. Nine games in one month saw the Reds knocked out of the EFL Cup and FA Cup in the same week.
They got themselves back on track for the fight for top four, drawing at home to league leaders Chelsea at the end of what was a nightmare of a month for Liverpool fans. The draw saw Simon Mignolet save a penalty, and the Reds were brilliant and remained fourth in the table.
From February onwards, all focus was on the top four for Liverpool yet with only three games, they only picked up three points having lost the two away fixtures. The loss at the King Power Stadium was expected, as the ‘curse of the sacked manager’ was present following the sacking of Claudio Ranieri.
The following games were better, and even if performances were bleak and lacked creativity, they did the job and got the points.
Liverpool ended the season with 76 points, 16 points higher than last season. 76 points would have seen them finish second last season, with Leicester having won the league with 81 points.
Season’s Most Improved
If you saw my article for Anfield HQ, you’d know that I’ve become a huge fan of Mignolet recently. He was dropped for Loris Karius at the start of the season but got his role of number one back in December, after Karius failed to impress Klopp.
The way he handled being replaced by a younger German goalkeeper was sensible. He didn’t throw a tantrum, but he continued to work harder in training so that if he should return to the line-up, he won’t make any silly mistakes.
And he did exactly that. Since I wrote that piece and was bombarded with abuse about Mignolet, he silenced his doubters and proved me right. He made some crucial saves in the run-in to the end of the season and kept some vital clean sheets for Liverpool.
Trent grew up idolising the likes of Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher who he went to watch train at Melwood. Ten years later, he has made it into the first team on several occasions and has continued to impress the gaffer this season. He made his Premier League debut against Manchester United in January and has since featured five times, starting once in the league. He has performed better than fellow right-back, Nathaniel Clyne, and has shown that he has the passion and determination to earn a place in the first-team. Rumour has it that Klopp will push him further next season and he will definitely be one to keep an eye on.
The midfielder enjoyed what was arguably his most impressive campaign to date at Anfield since he joined the Reds in the summer of 2014. He was England’s ‘Player of the Season’ scoring eight goals and claiming seven assists to help Liverpool secure the all-important top four finish. Lallana impressed for club and country, and despite a thigh strain that saw him out for four weeks, he came back stronger than ever, to the delight of many Liverpool fans. Now international duty awaits for Adam and Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions. Fingers crossed for no injuries!
Personally, I think we truly messed things up in the second half of the season and not having a replacement for Mané made us pay the price.
We started the season as title contenders – who would have expected that?! Then we went for it in the EFL Cup and fell short to Southampton, a team that has caused us a lot of problems this season. The FA Cup was just a joke. But despite that and a growing list of injuries and other issues, we secured Champions League football. That’s what we need to attract the likes of Mo Salah or even Southampton’s Virgil Van Dijk.
The Reds don’t like making it easy, but we got there in the end and I for one cannot wait for Champions League nights at Anfield next season.