Back in the Good Old Days™, before European football was largely a four-team sport played by multi-millionaires in their early twenties or, you know, particularly good, it was generally accepted that winning your home games and drawing your away games would be enough to compete at the top of whatever competition you partook in.
It’s an example of how things have changed. While an average of two points per game would typically see you competing at the top of the pile back then, those 76 points would only have been good for third, fourth, fourth, fifth, and second in the past five Premier League seasons, and within ten points of first place just once.
In these days of 97-point second places, then, it has become imperative to also win at least half of your away games. Those home wins remain crucial, however, and when it comes to getting the job done in your own house, this Liverpool team is exceptional, having not lost at home since April 2017, a streak of 40 consecutive league games.
For Joe Gomez, it’s clear what the x-factor has been.
“It’s weird, it’s sort of just flown in the sense that you don’t really take it in,” the 22-year old told the club’s official site. ”I think you just see each game as that individual game. But when you look back at that stat, it’s special.”
”I think it’s a credit to the supporters. The atmosphere they set makes it very difficult for people to come to Anfield.
”Hopefully it’s something we can continue,” Gomez continued. “If we do that this year, I’m sure we’ll be in a good place. Obviously [Norwich] will be the first time back since Madrid. It’s always special playing at Anfield, I think that’s one of massive pluses at being at this club.
”We know how much of a historic place it is and how good the atmosphere is. All the lads are looking forward to it.”
Their current run puts Liverpool second in Premier League history. In order to beat the current record — held by Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea side who went an obscene 86 games unbeaten at home — they’d have to keep up the trend for another two seasons and then some, which, while a big ask, may also be required if they are to challenge Manchester City for the title again.
Regardless of whether Jürgen Klopp’s Reds can go all the way this year, the special atmosphere produced at Anfield certainly won’t hurt, and it is good to see that the players recognise that fact.