Liverpool won the Premier League tonight, but unlike in the Champions League last season or the 28 games they’ve already won in the league this season—with seven matches still to go—they won it sitting down, watching others play.
Watching defending champions Manchester City face Chelsea. Knowing that any result for the London Blues would give them the league title. Officially. Their first in thirty years. And it turns out it was a surprisingly nervous experience.
“I don’t get to watch too many games,” said Liverpool’s star centre half Virgil van Dijk after it was all wrapped and Liverpool were champions thanks to Chelsea’s win. “But the game, it felt like it was taking ages. It was just never-ending.
“When the free kick went in for Kevin [De Bruyne to tie it for City], I was getting more nervous. I haven’t been that nervous in a while. But after that it was just celebration time and we all enjoyed it; we’re all proud of each other.”
Despite reports that they might all have been stuck at home, the team—who have been in close-contract training together for the past month—gathered at a hotel to watch the game between City and Chelsea unfold this evening.
A first half marker for Christian Pulisic put Chelsea ahead, but City looked the better side and Chelsea’s goal didn’t feel like it would be enough—and it wasn’t, with De Bruyne’s 55th minute free kick drawing the Citizens level.
Chelsea, though, didn’t crumbling and soon were playing their best football of the night, leading to a hand-ball save on the goal line by City’s Fernandinho. He got a red card, Chelsea got a penalty, and that was the game.
“The feeling, I can’t even describe it to be honest,” Van Dijk added. He was then, perhaps inevitably, mobbed by his teammates singing campione campione olé olé olé. Because Liverpool had just won the Premier League.