clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Everything’s the Best: Feeling Inevitable

Liverpool’s result on the weekend has them firmly in the championship race

Manchester City v Liverpool FC - Premier League Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

With the rare occasion, the recent installments in the Premier League title race has often come down to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. The increased familiarity - dovetailing with Liverpool’s renewed championship edge and the emergence of new money City - has bred a fair amount of enmity between the two clubs.

It’s not quite fair to call it a rivalry; one would require an extended, decades-long run of success for both clubs. Perhaps in another decade, then, we might get there.

No, it’s not a rivalry but I think it’s fair to say that most Liverpool fans find themselves mentioning City with a fair bit of annoyance. For me, I’d say that the amount of frustration laced with the uttering of the Citizens has increased as each iteration of the fixture passes.

Between last year’s disappointing season and the midfield overhaul (and the seeming calamity that was the transfer window), I don’t think most people imagined that Liverpool would be in a position where this specific fixture would see a ratcheting up of tensions. The Reds’ outrageous form this year, on the back of what might be to this point Jurgen Klopp’s most impressive work at the helm given where the team was at the start of the season, has seen folks inevitably penciling Liverpool into the title conversation.

While this year feels a bit different - some have Arsenal making the race to the title a three-way fight - the way the match played out over the weekend felt quite familiar: City’s stunning efficiency and elegance when in possession matched up against Liverpool’s resolute but dynamic style once more bubbled to the fore. It felt like two champions sizing each other up, trying to understand the ways in each the other have shorn up their old weaknesses and evolved into new, more devastating footballing titans.

The edginess that usually accompanies these matches was also their to see, with tackles coming in with more urgency, the goal celebrations feeling just that much more euphoric and emphatic. There was even a coming together between Darwin Nuñez and Pep Guardiola, which featured my favorite moment of the match: Alexis Mac Allister slowly walking to passively be a potential screen for his friend, Darwin, and prevent him from doing something that the Uruguayan might regret. At some point, Alexis tries to stifle a little grin as Darwin - or someone - must have let loose something that was maybe unfit to print.

There is also the familiarity in Klopp’s charges coming back from a losing position to salvage a point - and doing so to halt City’s impressive record at the Etihad to boot. We’ve seen them do it all year but the mentality of this club belies its relative youth.

Ultimately, the big takeaway from this match was, for me, that any lingering doubts about the quality of this squad - if anyone truly had any - has truly evaporated. What Liverpool are doing is proving they rightfully belong in any conversation about the best club in England. That certainly feels inevitable given what life under Klopp has been like.

Inevitable and surprising. Which also feels like trademark Klopp. This team continues to surprise in how it grows, and I’m excited to see what comes next.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Liverpool Offside Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Liverpool FC news from Liverpool Offside