If there was one team to support in world football in 2019 it was Liverpool. Considering the Reds began the decade in the dark days of the Hodgson era and midtable mediocrity, it shows how far we’ve come to now be both European and World Champions, while sitting with an incredible 13 point lead atop the Premier League table.
In a year that was filled with so many highs and triumphs, we count down the top ten moments of 2019 — there are certainly many to choose from:
10) Henderson and Salah Save Us at St. Mary’s (Southampton 1-3 Liverpool – 5th April 2019)
Right in the midst of one of the closet title races in Premier League history, it seemed set to end in a frustrating manner at St. Mary’s. A surprise early Shane Long goal had seen us fall behind, while an equaliser from Naby Keita was barely enough if we wanted to keep the pace with Man City.
Into the final 10 minutes of the game though, Mo Salah broke at extraordinary pace, opting to go on his own and put a great finish past Gunn.
It was still a nervy affair though and it took captain Jordan Henderson coming off the bench to seal the win with a rare goal. This moment makes the cut from Henderson’s passion alone; often unfairly maligned, his celebrations echoed a man desperate to win that illustrious Premier League title and it helped keep that dream alive for the time being.
9) Curtis Jones Becomes Penalty Hero (Liverpool 5-5 Arsenal – 30th October 2019)
In what is probably one of the craziest games you’ll ever witness, a heavily rotated Liverpool side played out a dramatic 10 goal thriller in the Carabao Cup with Arsenal back in October.
A Harvey Elliott clinic, an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain wonder strike, coming from two goals down twice and of course, very late Divock Origi heroics, this match had it all.
Coming down to penalties, Caoimhin Kelleher had already saved Dani Ceballos’ effort, meaning the pressure fell on the shoulders of Curtis Jones. The 18-year-old boyhood fan calmly dispatched his penalty to send Liverpool through to the next round.
It may have been a competition of little priority and ended in quarter-final defeat, but it remains a night those who played that day will remain for a long, long time.
8) Liverpool Move 9 Points Clear of the Champions (Liverpool 3-1 Manchester City – 10th November 2019)
It had already been earmarked by many as the definitive fixture to watch in the Premier League and despite only being in November, Liverpool’s clash with reigning champions Manchester City felt decisive. A win would send the Reds comfortably 9 points clear of their closet rivals, while a loss would reduce the lead to a measly 3 points.
Played out in front of a raucous Anfield crowd, Klopp’s side easily dismantled the champions. A powerful drive by Fabinho opened the scoring, while efforts from Salah and Mane awarded us an improbable 3-0 lead.
A late Bernardo Silva strike was of little consolation for City and as the full-time whistle went, the title race finally felt firmly in our control.
Oh, and that Guardiola fume on the touchline? Classic.
7) Adrian Wins Us the Super Cup on his Full Debut (Liverpool 2-2 Chelsea – 14th August 2019)
August’s early season Super Cup clash with Europa League winners Chelsea seemed the perfect opportunity to keep our trophy winning momentum going and when it was all said and done, that certainly seemed the case.
We struggled in what was a hugely frustrating first-half, requiring two Sadio Mane strikes after the break to put us back in control, until a late Jorginho penalty in extra-time sent the game to penalties.
Making his full debut after coming on as a substitute for the injured Alisson against Norwich a few days prior, Adrian had his chance to become an early hero for Liverpool, and he definitely did that. Saving Tammy Abraham’s effort, Adrian clenched the Reds a fourth Super Cup and second piece of silverware in 2019 and instantly cementing himself as a fan favourite.
6) Alexander-Arnold Stars in Top of the Table Clash (Leicester City 0-4 Liverpool – 26th December 2019)
It was supposed to be one of the toughest tests of the season — a visit to free-scoring Leicester City who sat surprisingly second in the Premier League table and were undefeated at the King Power throughout the campaign.
It was anything but tough. In one of the most complete performances under Klopp, the Reds utterly tore apart Leicester, with a brace from Roberto Firmino and a James Milner penalty seeing off the Foxes.
And of course, Trent Alexander-Arnold was responsible for putting in one of the best individual displays you’re likely to see; two pinpoint assists, winning a penalty and a fantastic strike to get the fourth.
13 points clear with a game in hand? It was the perfect late Christmas present.
5) Mane Silences the Allianz (Bayern Munich 1 Liverpool 3 – 13th March 2019)
I think it’s fair to say most Liverpool fans were apprehensive about the prospect of drawing Bayern Munich in the last sixteen of the Champions League. The Bundesliga giants were the reigning German champions, while boasted a line-up of superstars like Manuel Neuer, Mats Hummels and Robert Lewandowski.
After a tense scoreless draw in the first-leg at Anfield, we had the unenviable task of heading to the Allianz Arena if we were to reach the quarter-finals. It was certainly going to be difficult, but after Sadio Mane’s little smirk to Joshua Kimmich after the defender yelled in his face in the first-leg, it seemed as if Mane knew what was coming.
The forward rounded an onrushing Neuer to chip it over him with a delightful finish and give us the vital away goal. An own-goal from Matip continued to make it a nervy affair, until a towering header from Van Dijk and another from Mane comfortably saw us soar into the final eight.
We didn’t just beat Bayern Munich. We dominated them at their own ground. The whole of Europe was on notice.
4) Champions of the World (Liverpool 1- Flamengo – 21st December 2019)
Only a select few teams can lay claim to being Champions of the World, but you can now add Liverpool to that renowned list.
After a late Firmino goal saw us squeeze past Monterrey in the semi-finals, we were up against gritty Brazilian side Flamengo. It was never going to be a straightforward affair; in a game that was blighted by referee incompetence, it took a Firmino strike in extra-time to see off the South Americans and avenge the 1981 loss that they still go about to this day.
It sealed the third piece of silverware in 2019 and an international treble that is increasingly hard to achieve; rivals may have mocked it, but who doesn’t want to be Champions of the World?
3) Two Late Goals Seal Shocking Villa Comeback (Aston Villa 1-2 Liverpool – 2nd November 2019)
Unbeaten in the Premier League, it just didn’t seem our day against Aston Villa back in November; a goal wrongly disallowed for offside by VAR and a penalty call not given for a blatant handball, it looked set to be a miserable day in Birmingham.
However, in the 87th minute, Andy Robertson popped up with a dramatic header to seemingly salvage a draw and maintain our unbeaten record.
It seemed justified after a frustrating day, but with the gap on Man City tightening, a point would have ultimately been of little comfort.
Yet, in the dying seconds of the game, Sadio Mane once again came to our rescue with a header past Tom Heaton to take all three points back to Merseyside.
It wasn’t our greatest display, but never had that phrase ‘Mentality Monsters’ felt so apt.
2) Corner Taken Quickly, Origi! (Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona – May 7th 2019)
What else is there to say about this game that hasn’t been said already? Trailing 3-0 in the Champions League semi-final following a clinical display from Barcelona at the Camp Nou, Liverpool needed to overcome a three goal deficit without conceding what could have been a costly away goal. Oh, and without the injured pair of Mo Salah or Roberto Firmino either.
But, in what was one of the greatest nights in Anfield’s storied history and arguably the best comeback of all time in the Champions League, Liverpool did it.
With an insane Anfield atmosphere behind them, an early Origi game unsettled the Catalans, with their misery complete after substitute Gini Wijnaldum put two past Ter Stegen in the space of just over two minutes.
Alexander-Arnold’s quick thinking from a corner helped Origi get his second after Barcelona had completely switched off and helped send the Reds through to the final in Madrid.
The emotion and the “You’ll Never Walk Alone” post-match is completely unparalleled. Go on, go and watch it again.
1) Six Times in Madrid (Liverpool 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur – June 1st 2019)
It was one of the greatest nights in Liverpool’s history — after 14 years of heartbreak and mediocrity, the club finally returned to it’s rightful place at the pinnacle of European football.
An early Salah penalty helped settle the nerves, but it was a cagey game; after the devastation of Kiev the year prior, another loss would have been far too much to bear. But, as always, Divock Origi popped up to write himself into club folklore and clinch a sixth Champions League trophy in Madrid.
After a season of near misses and the pain of missing out on the league despite 97 points, the least this team deserved was the Champions League and you could see how much it meant to every single one of them; particularly, Jurgen Klopp.
It was one of the best nights of our lives and felt like the beginning of something truly special.
Honourable mentions: Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea (14th April 2019), Newcastle 2-3 Liverpool (4th May 2019), Liverpool 2-1 Leicester City (5th October 2019), Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur (25th October 2019), Liverpool 5-2 Everton (4th December 2019)