Liverpool emerged from January with five league wins from five, and now head into a busy month they have at times struggled in under Jurgen Klopp.
Having been tipped to drop points at some stage, while they contended with a host of injuries, dominating their opposition throughout was an sign of sheer quality.
Klopp’s side finished the month 19 points clear at the top of the league, and now moving into February face an interesting spell as European competition returns.
Here are the key dates for the diary throughout February, including those for the academy and women’s sides too.
February 1 – Southampton (H)
The Reds begin the month with a visit from one of the Premier League‘s most-improved sides, with Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Saints making the trip to Anfield.
Having won just two of their first 13 league games of the season, including a 9-0 humiliation at home to Leicester, Southampton have now won seven of their last 11, inspired by the form of Danny Ings.
Liverpool will remain favourites, particularly as it is at Anfield, but the prospect of a win to gain a 22-point lead on Man City ahead of their clash with Tottenham the following day is certainly tougher than at St Mary’s in August.
February 2-13 – First-team winter break
This is a first for England, and the teething problems certainly betray it as such: the first two weeks of February brings the inaugural winter break.
Klopp has long planned to allow the first-team squad a holiday during this period, to allow his players to recharge ahead of a final push in the Premier League and Champions League, and this was threatened by an FA Cup replay.
But, controversially, the manager has stuck with his guns, and the senior group will leave Merseyside for short breaks and individual training after taking on Southampton.
February 4 – Shrewsbury (H)
This follows his stint in the dugout for the League Cup quarter-final at Aston Villa in December, though he should be able to call upon a stronger squad than that night at Villa Park.
Victory would set up a fifth-round tie away to Chelsea, to be played at the start of March.
February 9 – Everton Women (A); Sunderland U23s (H)
While the first team are still away, both the under-23s and women’s sides will be in action on a busy Sunday.
Vicky Jepson will lead her Reds to Goodison Park to take on Everton in the Women’s Super League, following on from the reverse clash at Anfield in November, when they lost 1-0.
February 14 – UEFA Youth League draw
With their last game having come in December, February will restart the under-19s’ European campaign as they learn their opponents in the last 16 of the UEFA Youth League.
Barry Lewtas leads the young Reds in the youth equivalent of the Champions League, with Critchley in support, and the likes of Williams, Elliott and Leighton Clarkson have been ever-presents so far.
Liverpool cannot be drawn against Salzburg if they progress via the playoffs, but Ajax, Atalanta, Bayern Munich, Benfica, Inter Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid are all possibilities at this stage.
February 15 – Norwich (A)
Having returned to Melwood at the beginning of the week, Klopp’s squad will make the trip to Carrow Road to take on relegation favourites Norwich.
The Canaries have been in dreadful form throughout a season that began with a 4-1 loss at Anfield, and currently sit six points adrift at the bottom of the table, having won just four of their 24 games.
There are 53 points separating Liverpool and Norwich, but Daniel Farke will be hoping a busy January that brought the signings of Ondrej Duda and Lukas Rupp could boost his hopes.
February 16 – Chelsea Women (A)
Jepson’s side put eight past second-tier Blackburn to advance, but come up against a Blues outfit who are eight places and 26 points above them in the league.
February 18 – Atletico (A)
The Champions League resumes in February, and Klopp’s Reds will travel back to the Wanda Metropolitano for the first leg of their last 16 tie against Atletico Madrid.
Having won the European Cup there back in June, this is the next step in Liverpool’s defence of the trophy, and they come up against a hit-and-miss Atletico, currently fifth in La Liga.
Away to Diego Simeone’s Rojiblancos will never be a straightaway contest, though, so the Reds will need to be at their best.
February 22 – Man City U18s (H)
Unlike at first-team level this season, Man City are currently topping the U18 Premier League with Liverpool second—though the gap between is significantly smaller at just three points, with the young Reds having played a game fewer.
Lewtas’ side will host their title rivals at Kirkby towards the end of February, and he is likely to call upon a host of new faces as his reshuffle of the ranks sets in.
A win over City would be huge for the U18s, and the likes of Tyler Morton, Tom Hill and Layton Stewart could be key.
February 23 – Huddersfield U23 (H)
If they lose to Sunderland and both sides draw in their final game of Group F it could depend on goal difference or a head-to-head record between the young Reds, the Black Cats and Wigan.
February 24 – West Ham (H)
David Moyes certainly lacked ambition at home, and it is unlikely a side who are edging closer to relegation will take a more progressive approach on the road.
February 29 – Watford (A)
The Reds will need to maintain their focus in these three fixtures, of course, but they are three in a host of winnable ties on the road to the title.