Another league season, and another dramatic improvement, with 6 wins from our first 6 games, and 60 points from 60 against the bottom half of the table, helping to shatter our club points records for the season. Some of the highlights were:
Goals Of The Season
With 89 goals scored, there were too many specials to find just one. So here are 3 of each.
Team Goal Of The Season
v Cardiff (h): 3-1 up, and a brilliant counter attack started in our own half, sees Salah put Mane through to put us 3 goals clear on the day and 3 points clear in the league.
v Fulham (h): 40 minutes gone and we're struggling to break a stubborn opposition down. The game is at 12pm on Sunday, and the atmosphere is flat as a pancake. In the space of 15 seconds though, everyone wakes up. First, an opposition attempt is offside. While they wander around feeling sorry for themselves, VVD tells Allison it doesn't count, while he in turn finds TAA who puts Salah through to finish it off. We're back on top and their coach is swiftly fired.
v Southampton (a): With the neutrals counting the time down for the slip up to hand City the league they predicted since pre-season, we had to dig deep and recover from a difficult start to dig out another 3 points. With 15 minutes to go, Hendo and Mane set up Salah to go on a 40 yard run and score his first goal in 2 months. We take the lead, win the game, are back on top, and secure a top 4 spot.
Individual Goal Of The Season
v Chelsea (a): There's 2 minutes left, and Sturridge makes his main contribution to the season to get us a point, the least we deserved. After the game, Sky asked if England should call him up again. Instead, he did well to play for us again, but in a run of 3 winless games, this was a point gained rather than two lost.
v Arsenal (h): A lively start to the second round of games sees the game 1-1 after 15 minutes. Firmino picks up the ball, and leaves 4 opponents on their backsides to put us in front, and on the way to put us 9 points clear with 54 points from a possible 60.
v Watford (h): Sandwiched between the local away trips, this one looked like a long night. Instead, it was a walkover. 20 minutes in and it's done and dusted, after Mane scores with an outrageous back heel to keep us top. To try it was ambitious, to get the power needed to get it over the keeper and find the net was astonishing.
Signing Of The Season
It has to be Allison, who like VVD before him, makes the fee we forked out for him look loose change. Ever present throughout, the 10 goals conceded at home all season, helped us be the tightest defence in the league and allowed him to pick up the Golden Glove. That creates a new category.
Save Of The Season
Like the goals, it's hard, very hard to narrow it down to 1. But I have. The injury time save at Burnley was stupendous, with the ball destined for the top corner, 2 points dropped on a wet Wednesday night at Burnley, 4 points behind in the title race, and headlines on this forum, mainly driven by Panzer Reid Rib and Ireland. Instead, Allison plucked it out of the top corner and set up our third goal for us to win 3-1. By the weekend, we were top by 1 point and we all had a Happy Christmas.
Game Of The Season
From a personal pov, there was only one candidate, mainly as it was the only game I was at, my first ever night game at Anfield. So it's the 5-0 win v Huddersfield, where it took just 15 seconds to win the game, give us an easy night to enjoy, and go back on top of the league.
Other great games; the games at home to Everton and Spurs were great results after 90 minutes of tension. But the win over the mancs was our first win over them in the league in 5 years, and long overdue. We took 13 points from our big 6 home league games, and 19 points overall from 30.
We collected 37 results and 97 points, comfortably making the top 4, are now unbeaten at home in 40 games, and are European Champions, so there is a lot to be happy about. Next year is the 4th year of the 4 year project, and we now have the platform to match and better this year's records, to deliver the title Jürgen told us would happen, on Day 1.