It’s official. Liverpool have made the best start to a season in the history of the English Premier League.
A 1-0 win against Tottenham saw the Reds notch up 61 points from their first 21 games to surpass Manchester City’s record of 59 points set during their title-winning 2017-2018 season, and also after their 21st match.
Liverpool’s start also is the most successful in Europe’s big five soccer leagues.
Jurgen Klopp’s team, who have won 20 league games this season and drawn just once to Manchester United, are now unbeaten in 38 league games, equivalent to a whole season.
But statistics and records don’t really interest Liverpool manager Klopp, who doesn’t want to be distracted from the important business of winning the Premier League title.
“It’s really difficult to win this number of games, always to be ready to fight on your best day, on your worse day,” Klopp told Sky Sports. “That’s what the boys do, that’s why we’re here.
“The only problem is you don’t get anything for best starts apart from numbers.
“If people say in 50 years ‘Liverpool made the best start’, cool, but the only thing we are interested in is what we can get in the summer and that’s not done yet.”
Boredom setting in?
Liverpool are now 16 points clear at the top of the table and statistics can be helpful markers on the Reds’ road to an elusive Premier League crown. It has been 30 years since Liverpool won a league title, when Kenny Dalglish was at the helm.
But perhaps the away win in North London was not quite as box office as soccer fans, partisan and neutral, have come to expect from this relentless Liverpool side.
Roberto Firmino broke the deadlock after 37 minutes when he turned his man, Spurs league debutant Japhet Tananga, and rocketed the ball into the corner. The goal was a stunner but Klopp argued his team should have already been 2-0 up by then.
His team pressed on but there were no more goals and, in the second half, there was even a lull in Liverpool’s tempo.
Sky Sports analyst Gary Neville mused: “Maybe they’re getting bored of keeping the ball?”
Attacking stars Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were both off-target while Liverpool’s defence occasionally wobbled and left the door open for a Spurs team literally spurred on by the supporters inside their home stadium.
“One part of a football game is the result and I’m over the moon about that, it’s really special,” added Klopp. “But then we have to talk about the performance.
“There were a lot of good parts but we should have scored more goals. We have to be honest with ourselves.”
Frustration for Tottenham
Spurs manager Jose Mourinho hoped he could be the man to end Liverpool’s run of success — after all he quashed their titles hopes with a league double in 2013/2014 when he was Chelsea manager.
Tottenham’s game plan was to wait for Liverpool to make a mistake and then pounce — and the plan almost worked when golden chances fell to Son Heung-Min and Giovani Lo Celso.
Mourinho in turn fell to his knees with a rueful smile when Lo Celso slid the ball wide in the closing stages of the match.
“I can be happy and proud of what the boys tried to do,” Mourinho said. “But yesterday we spent half an hour defending throw-ins and we lost the game on a throw-in, so it’s a bit frustrating.
“I think we deserved more from this game.”
Even the seasoned Premier League campaigner Mourinho couldn’t find a way to defeat Liverpool – and it remains to be seen if any domestic team can.