After an unexpected hiatus of over three months, the Premier League is back with runaway leaders Liverpool looking to finally confirm their first league title in 30 years. Their tally of 82 points from their opening 29 matches of the season – of which they have failed to win just two – is four more than any other side in English top-flight history has managed to accumulate at the same stage (adjusting to three points for a win all-time). The previous record holders after 29 matches were Manchester City’s centurion side of 2017-18 (78 points, finished on 100).
And it is that record 100-point tally ultimately reached by Pep Guardiola’s team two seasons ago that Liverpool have every chance of not only matching but possibly surpassing as they look to cement their place in Premier League history. The Reds require 18 points from their nine remaining matches – equivalent to two points-per-game – to equal that total and become only the second top-flight side to amass a triple-figure points sum come the season’s end. Remarkably, since the start of last season, Liverpool have had only one nine-match run in which they did not pick up at least 18 points – doing so from January to March 2019, where they earned 16 points from a nine-match streak which started with a 2-1 defeat to the eventual champions of that campaign Manchester City and ended with a goalless draw away at Merseyside rivals Everton.
Since that Merseyside derby in March of last season, Liverpool have embarked on a stretch that has seen them drop just five points from the 114 available to them – that’s 109 points from 38 games, the equivalent of a full Premier League season.
For context, before Liverpool this season, the previous high for points accumulated over a 38-game run by any Premier League side was 102, by both Chelsea in 2005 and Man City in 2018. Liverpool peaked at 110 points across 38 games after their 3-2 win at home to West Ham in February.
Indeed, that win over West Ham was another landmark for the Reds, as it saw them win 18 consecutive league matches – a joint-record by any side in English top-flight history.
While this run was ended by Watford in their next match, it was still the final match of a 44-game unbeaten streak by Klopp’s side, second only to Arsenal’s famous 49-match run ending in 2004 by any top-flight side in England. While Watford may have ended Liverpool’s chances of matching Arsenal’s Invincible side and going an entire season unbeaten, the Reds still have plenty of other records within reach.
At home, the Premier League leaders have an impeccable record. Having won 22 league matches in a row at Anfield – already an all-time English top-flight record by any side – Liverpool have picked up all 45 points available to them in home matches this season alone.
In the history of the English top-flight, only Sunderland in 1891-92 have managed to win 100% of their home matches in a campaign – and the Black Cats did so having only played 13 matches on home soil in a league containing just 14 teams that term.
In the Premier League era, the closest any sides have been to a flawless home record was 18 wins and one draw from 19 games, amassed by Chelsea (2005-06), Manchester United (2010-11) and Manchester City (2011-12). Should Liverpool add four more consecutive wins at Anfield to the 22 they have already achieved, they will have accomplished another feat never seen before in the Premier League. Overall, currently on 27 wins from 29 games, Liverpool require six more victories from their final nine matches of 2019-20 to set a new record for most wins by any side in a top-flight season in England, currently held by Man City (32 wins in both 2017-18 and 2018-19).
Of course, the Anfield club need much fewer than six wins to guarantee their first ever Premier League crown – just two will suffice for that, and that’s assuming second-place Man City win all nine of their remaining fixtures. The last time Liverpool did not manage to win two matches across a run of nine in the Premier League was back in April 2012 under Kenny Dalglish (one win).
Should Liverpool win their first two games after the league resumes, they will have won this season’s title with an astonishing seven games to spare. It is not inconceivable, in fact, that they wrap it up even sooner, should Man City slip up before Liverpool’s second match of the restart.
The all-time record for earliest title win in England with regards to remaining matches left to play is five, achieved four times (Manchester United in 1907-08, Everton in 1984-85, Man Utd again in 2000-01 and Man City in 2017-18). Should Liverpool break that record, it will be a significant barometer of their supremacy this season. The Premier League’s dominant leaders set record after record in the competition before the season was temporarily suspended, and they have given themselves a platform to continue to break new ground and become a historic side that will be remembered for decades once the season gets back under way.