April 28, 1990. Under the inspirational guidance and dogged motivation of then player-manager, Kenny Dalglish, it was the triumphant and memorable day when Liverpool last won the league title; Dalglish was voted as Liverpool’s greatest-ever player in club history.
The Reds legendary 1989-1990 league title victory on April 28, 1990 significantly marked one year thereafter the catastrophic Hillsborough Disasater which transpired on April 15, 1989. The aggressive resilience and fighting spirit of the city, unequivocally entrenched within the fabric of the club, continued in and thereafter the face of tumultuous adversity and challenges.
However, since April 28, 1990, the Hillsborough Disaster has since had a tremendous effect on the community and bereaved families on Merseyside.
April 2019 will indeed commemorate 30 years since the Hillsborough tragedy. A harrowing event which witnessed 96 innocent lives tragically lost followed by subsequent years of grave injustice and well-documented public defamation to the families of the 96 who perished on that very unforgettable day.
Five years prior to the Hillsborough Disaster, Liverpool experienced heartbreak and dispair courtesy of the infamous Heysel Stadium Disaster. Thirty nine lives were lost and a further 600 people were injured during the shocking events in Belgium.
Since April 28, 1990, however, Liverpool have witnessed various periodic majestic glories throughout its very rich history which have added further indelible chapters, notably the 2000-2001 treble season (UEFA Cup, F.A Cup and League Cup) under Frenchman, Gerard Houllier.
Moreover, the widely celebrated Rafa Benitez era brought further glory to Anfield which witnessed the club winning the sought after UEFA Champions League in 2005, as well as the F.A Cup in 2006. The Spaniard also steered Liverpool to victory in the UEFA Super Cup in 2005, as well as triumph in the Community Shield in 2006.
In 2007, Liverpool returned to the UEFA Champions League Final against A.C Milan. The Reds lost 2-1 to the Italian giants courtesy of two goals from Filippo Inzaghi.
More fascinatingly, since Klopp’s high-profile arrival to Liverpool in 2015, the ever-charismatic German tactician has arguably become Liverpool’s most beloved manager since Rafa Benitez.
Alongside Benitez, the well-respected likes of Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan and Kenny Dalglish are also universally revered as Liverpool’s most successful managers in club history.
Since April 28, 1990, Liverpool have finished as runners-up in the league four times. Furthermore, the Reds have placed between third and fifth position in the league on 14 occasions since April 1990. In addition, since April 28, 1990, Liverpool have finished outside of the top six on 10 times separately.
During the decade of the 1990s, however, Liverpool won just two trophies post the 1989-1990 season league title triumph (Community Shield in 1990 and League Cup in 1995), as well as being runners up in the 1996 F.A Cup Final.
Invariably, the decade of the 1990s was unequivocally a period of underachievement and growing pains for the Reds.
During the Gerard Houllier era at Anfield, Liverpool finished 7th in the league in 1998-1999, 4th in 1999-2000, 3rd in 2000-2001, 2nd in 2001-2002, 5th in 2002-2003 and 4th in the 2003-2004 season.
Houllier guided Liverpool to the runners-up position in the Premier League only once during his six year tenure at Anfield. The Frenchman left by mutual consent from Liverpool on May 2004.
Liverpool’s relative renaissance in the millennium under Rafa Benitez witnessed the club finishing 5th in the Premier league in 2004-2005, 3rd in 2005-2006, 3rd in 2006-2007, 4th in 2007-2008, 2nd in 2008-2009 and 7th in the 2009-2010 season.
Similar to Gerard Houllier before him, Benitez guided Liverpool to the runners-up position just once in the Premier League during his six year tenure at Anfield. Furthermore, Benitez left Liverpool courtesy of mutual consent much in a similar manner to the Frenchman.
Roy Hodgson proceeded Benitez as the manager of Liverpool in July 2010. Hodgson lasted six months until being relieved of duties as manager at Anfield. Hodgson registered a 41.9% win percentage record as manager of Liverpool.
Thereafter Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish then returned for a second tenure as manager at Liverpool in January 2011. Dalglish registered a 47.3% win percentage and guided the Reds to victory in the final of the 2012 League Cup Final. At the end of the 2011-2012 season, however, Dalglish was relieved of duties as manager of Liverpool.
Brendan Rodgers subsequently replaced Dalglish in June 2012. Rodgers registered a 50% win percentage during 166 games in charge. In October 2015, the Northern Irishman was relieved of duties as manager of Liverpool after an unsatisfactory start in the 2015/2016 campaign. Rodgers, however, guided Liverpool to a second place finish in the 2013-2014 Premier League and is the club’s best finish in the league in the last five years.
However, since Klopp’s high-arrival at Anfield, the German has guided Liverpool to an 8th place finish in the Premier League in 2015-2016, coupled alongside finishes of 4th in 2016-2017 and 4th once again last season.
Since his managerial appointment at Liverpool, Klopp has never advanced Liverpool further than the fourth round of the F.A Cup.
However, Liverpool under Klopp were runners-up in the League Cup Final (2015-2016) and additionally runners-up in the 2018 UEFA Champions League Final.
This season in the UEFA Champions League, Liverpool are currently second in their group and are presently level on points with group leaders Napoli with two more group games remaining.
Furthermore, Liverpool were eliminated in the third round of the EFL Carabao Cup this season by Chelsea.
Elsewhere, this season in the league, however, Klopp’s Liverpool have earned 30 points from their first 12 Premier League games. The Reds have conceded just five goals in the league this season and have scored 23. The Merseyside club presently remain undefeated in the league this term having won nine and drawn three.
Liverpool defeated Fulham 2-0 this past weekend courtesy of goals from Mohamed Salah and Xherdan Shaqiri. Liverpool’s next five Premier League encounters are against Watford, Everton, Burnley, Bournemouth and Manchester United.
Javi Gracia’s Watford are presently seventh in the Premier League having earned 20 points from their opening 12 league encounters. The Hornets have conceded less goals (14) this season than Manchester United (21), Arsenal (15), Everton (15) and Leicester City (16).
Elsewhere, Marco Silva’s Everton, who are currently ninth in the Premier League, held Chelsea to a 0-0 stalemate at Stamford Bridge this past Sunday to earn a hard fought point.
The last time Everton emerged victorious in the Merseyside derby against Liverpool was on October 17, 2010 when Everton defeated Liverpool 2-0 courtesy of goals from Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta.
Since then, Liverpool have emerged victorious against Everton eight times in the last 16 Merseyside derby games with the other nine Merseyside derby games ending in a draw since the Toffees last victory against Liverpool (October 17, 2010).
Sean Dyche’s Burnley, who are currently fifteenth in the Premier League, have earned nine points from their opening 12 league games. Burnley are joint third for the most Premier League goals conceded this season (25).
Furthermore, Burnley have not registered a Premier League win in their last five games. The Clarets drew 0-0 with Claude Puel’s Leicester City at the King Power Stadium this past weekend in the league.
Bournemouth, currently sixth place in the Premier League under Eddie Howe, have witnessed back-to-back losses in their last two Premier League games. The Cherries have also scored 21 goals in the league this season (more goals than Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United) and are currently positioning themselves for a UEFA Europa League spot in the current campaign.
Meanwhile, José Mourinho’s Manchester United, who are currently eighth in the Premier League, remain 12 points adrift from current Premier League leaders Manchester City, whilst also winning two of their last three Premier League matches. United are also 10 points apart from second place Liverpool, who are two points behind current Premier League leaders Manchester City.
According to betmaker William Hill, Liverpool are currently 4/1 favorites to win the Premier League this season.
Klopp’s legacy at Liverpool could potentially be etched into the pantheon of Reds immortals if Liverpool do indeed make history this season. A league title at Anfield has been 29 long years in the making, and more poignantly, 30 years since the Hillsborough disaster.
However, the question remains: Can Liverpool become Premier League champions this season?