Another season has come to an end and the Reds have just about achieved the usual minimum requirements – after overcoming so many trials and obstacles along the way that it became a fairly huge success.
The 2020/21 campaign had perhaps the lowest lows of any recent year under Jurgen Klopp, but that doesn’t mean it had no high points either.
Liverpool were exciting at times, there were moments of optimism and a few isolated instances where the fans were simply able to believe – that’s what it’s all about, after all.
Here we run down the top 10 moments Jurgen Klopp and his team enjoyed this term.
10. Jota announces himself
He hit the ground running with goals against the Blades, Midtjylland and West Ham, but it was the Reds’ biggest Champions League game in the group stage where he stated his case to be a regular starter.
Liverpool put five past Atalanta in Bergamo and Jota hit a hat-trick – the two openers and the final goal of the night.
The Portuguese forward was frequently a choice in the front three for Klopp thereafter and the fans got to enjoy the prospect of four top-tier attackers on show at once from time to time.
9. A Champions League win made at Kirkby
Injuries were beginning to bite, rotation came into play and the youngsters at the club were not just being given a chance, but were taking it.
Ajax came to town in December and Liverpool earned a 1-0 victory – with the Academy playing a central role.
In goal, Caoimhin Kelleher. At right-back, Neco Williams. In midfield, Curtis Jones. And on the bench, Vite Jaros, Leighton Clarkson, Jake Cain and Rhys Williams, the latter of which came on for the closing minutes.
And the winning goal? Made in Kirkby – Neco crossing for Curtis’ first-ever Champions League goal.
8. Salah starts as he means to go on
Opening day, Salah top scorer! It would have been poetic had he ended the campaign there too, but it wasn’t quite to be.
But Mo was integral to Liverpool finishing third, with his goalscoring prowess a consistent factor even through the bad patches.
Against Leeds on matchday one, he served a reminder of his talents and notice of his intent, rattling in hat-trick to earn the Reds a dramatic 4-3 win.
7. Thiago arrives as a statement signing
Liverpool’s basic approach in the transfer market is to bring in players with a high ceiling and bags of talent, who Jurgen Klopp can transform from exciting prospect to consistent trophy-winner.
But last summer, they went about as big as you can go: a proven, established, world-class talent from the reigning Bundesliga and Champions League winners.
Thiago Alcantara was, and is, an elite player – right at the top of the game in his position. And he wanted to join Liverpool.
We’ve seen, particularly towards the end of 20/21, just how valuable he’ll be next season and beyond.
6. Double delight at the Puskas
There was a period when Anfield was simply not where Liverpool needed to be. No fans, no atmosphere, no confidence, no results.
We won away, lost at home – so when it came to the Champions League and the no-fly rules because of Covid, playing two legs in a neutral venue proved just the ticket.
The Puskas Arena in Hungary will likely always hold a fond spot now in the minds of Kopites, after we played there twice and won there twice – 2-0 both times against Leipzig. Our home away from home, just when we needed it most.
5. A long overdue win at Old Trafford
Toward the end of the season we had one real route back into the Champions League: win, and then win, and then win some more.
One problem: We had to go to Man United and Jurgen Klopp had never yet won there as Reds boss. After the initial game was cancelled and rescheduled, it was off to Old Trafford and through some disapproving home fans we went…and picked up the three points we so desperately required.
Falling behind early on could have made it another desperate day up the East Lancs, but Jota, Roberto Firmino twice and Salah late on ensured it was an occasion to remember and savour.
4. Mane seals top four in front of fans
And just three matches later, the job was done. Perhaps this one might have been a little higher had matters unfolded differently, but between the Reds rediscovering their own form and the outcome of that Chelsea–Leicester game, it was a little bit inevitable that we wouldn’t let a top-four spot slip on the final day – especially as 10,000 Liverpool fans were finally allowed back inside Anfield.
Sadio Mane blasted in twice to put Crystal Palace to the sword and, as results elsewhere transpired, that was actually good enough for third.
A very strong end to the season saw the Reds go unbeaten for 10 league games – our best form when we needed it most, right in front of the fans.
3. Trent’s Villa rocket
Before that final run-in, there was still hope on two fronts. Liverpool had a second leg against Real Madrid to navigate, but to have optimism there, we needed to be strong domestically and beat Aston Villa to keep our top-four hopes alive.
Easier said than done, considering that game came on 10 April and the Reds’ last Anfield victory was…16 December. An incredible four months without a home league win, for a team who had previously gone well over three years without defeat on home soil.
It looked as though the points were going to slip away again, until Trent Alexander-Arnold produced unquestionably his best shot of the season, cutting back onto his right foot from the left-of-centre edge of the area and pinging an unstoppable, injury time, delirium-inspiring missile into the far corner of the net.
Three points, Anfield a stadium we could win in again and our Champions League ambitions rekindled in more ways than one.
2. Firmino’s last-minute winner kick-starts a title-dreaming week
Believe it or not, remember it or not, there was a time in 2020/21 that Liverpool fans thought it possible, maybe even verging on probable, that the Premier League title could be retained.
That time came just as the clock ticked past 90 minutes on 16 December 2020, as Roberto Firmino netted an unforgettable winner over top-of-the-table Spurs.
Liverpool, reigning champions, quickly displaced them – and then followed it up with the biggest win of the season, 7-0 away to Palace just three days later.
Surely nobody could stop the mighty Reds from that point on, right?!
1. Alisson’s incredible header
The moment hope was reignited, the joy of football returned and Reds knew we were going to go on and make the top four.
Alisson Becker striding forward to meet a corner with a perfect header was memorable in and of itself – when does a goalkeeper score for Liverpool?! – but it meant so much more than a single goal.
Three points instead of one, a victory over a team at the bottom which we’d struggled with all season…and the renewed optimism to take into the final days of the season.