Liverpool made their return to action on Sunday evening against Everton following three months without Premier League football due to coronavirus. Tonight, they play their first game at Anfield following the restart.
It’s a significant moment for the Reds as they look to lock down their first league title in thirty years, a match against Crystal Palace in an empty Anfield while a global pandemic continues to simmer in the background.
“It is important to begin by saying I hope you and your loved ones are healthy and safe,” began Jürgen Klopp’s message to the fans who won’t be there and can’t congregate with fellow friends and fans away from the stadium.
“I doubt very much there is a person on the planet who doesn’t have a connection to someone who has been affected by the tragic consequences of what we have collectively been through and continue to face.
“Those of you reading this now, who will no doubt be watching the match today, you are still with us. If you watch with your entire household or you watch by yourself because of the circumstances, you are with us today.
“We know what our club means to you. We know the joy it brings. We know you kick every ball and shout still as if you were in the middle of the Kop. We may be apart physically, but we are always together. I really believe in this.”
There may be no fans watching live, no noise from the Kop, and more than that even the players will likely still not be fully match fit after what will have been the longest layoff many have ever had in their careers.
It’s still, for at least a couple of hours, football. Liverpool football. And maybe, hopefully, a win that takes all the players at Anfield and all the fans who can’t be there one step closer to the league title. Number nineteen.
“You cannot be in or around the stadium or even gather anywhere today,” the Liverpool manager added “But I can bring you into our dressing-room for the moment, in terms of telling you what we feel as a team.
“For us, the importance of what we do and how we do it has never been more critical. For us, it is ‘now more than ever’.”