Liverpool’s 30-year wait to lift the league title finally ended on Wednesday as captain Jordan Henderson held the Premier League trophy aloft at Anfield following their rollercoaster 5-3 win against Chelsea.
Jurgen Klopp’s squad, who secured the title last month, were presented with the trophy on a special podium built on the Kop stand following their final home game of the campaign.
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Liverpool great Sir Kenny Dalglish, who was the club’s manager when they last won the title in 1990, presented the players and staff with their winner’s medals alongside Premier League chief executive Richard Masters.
Merseyside police had issued a 48-hour dispersal order to stop fans gathering in large numbers across the city, as they did when the title was won on June 25 when nearest rivals Manchester City were beaten by Chelsea.
Many did gather outside, however, letting off flares and fireworks.
Despite the sanitised ceremony in the 53,000-seater stadium, Liverpool’s players did their best to fill the void, belting out a rendition of the club’s anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone” along with Klopp and his staff.
“If you don’t see that we do it for you I can’t help you,” Klopp said when asked for his message to the fans.
“You made us happy, we all should celebrate at home. Prepare for a party and when this virus has gone we will have a party.”
Liverpool chief executive Peter Moore said the players and fans will “come together to celebrate” when the time is right.
“It’s been an amazing season,” Henderson told former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher at pitchside.
“It’s been a journey, a process, and every single player has been part of it.”
Ahead of the match Klopp told the club’s supporters the Premier League trophy is for them but asked them not to congregate outside Anfield and instead wait for the correct time to celebrate their historic title.
“I really hope the fans know that it’s 100% for them,” Klopp said. “It’s for you. We won this league before lockdown but brought it over the line after lockdown. If we stick together, we can do anything.
“It’s a different situation to anything we’ve ever faced. I promise we’ll have this party that everybody deserves — probably at the first available opportunity — but we can do it only if everybody behaves appropriately. I understand it’s a personal challenge. Stay at home, celebrate in a safe place and keep it in your mind we will all be together when it’s possible again.”
Klopp added that waiting to get his hands on the Premier League trophy had been like the build up to Christmas Day, saying it will be one of the “greatest days” of his life.
“It’s a milestone for this team — it’s an important day, but not the last — we’ll be in very good spirits, 100%,” Klopp said.
Information from Reuters was used in this report.