Liverpool - As
the clock ticked down on Liverpool's unsuccessful bid to win their
first English title in 29 years, a defiant refrain echoed around Anfield
as all four sides of the famous old stadium chanted "We shall not be
moved, we're the team that's gonna win the European Cup".
READ: All the English Premier League final day results
Liverpool may have fallen just a point short in the title race after
Manchester City retained the Premier League crown with their 4-1 victory
But the Anfield faithful were determined to remind the world that
Sunday's 2-0 win against Wolves in their last domestic game of the
season wasn't the end of an incredible campaign for Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp's side hope to turn the agony of their title near-miss
into the ecstasy of a sixth European Cup when they face Tottenham in the
Champions League final on June 1.
Tuesday's incredible 4-0 win against Barcelona that erased a 3-0
first leg deficit and sent Liverpool to their second successive
Champions League final, ensuring their last shot at winning the title
for this season didn't feel quite so painful.
City's incredible consistency meant Liverpool have to settle for
second place - the fifth time they have been runners-up since they were
last crowned kings of English football in 1990.
But Sadio Mane's double gave them 97 points - the third highest
total in Premier League history behind only City's tallies this season
Liverpool, beaten only once all season in the league, also equalled
the club's top-flight record of 30 wins, set over 42 matches in 1978-79,
after recording a ninth consecutive league victory.
No wonder Liverpool were given a standing ovation when the final whistle sounded.
Ninety minutes earlier, under picture-perfect blue skies, fans arrived at Anfield more in hope than expectation.
Many Liverpool supporters were decked in the hastily made replicas of
the 'Never give up' t-shirt Mohamed Salah wore during the post-match
celebrations against Barcelona on Tuesday, while the PA system blared
out Journey's 'Don't stop believing' before kick-off.
But, with even the most diehard Kopite expecting City to win at
Brighton, the mood around Anfield was one of pride in Liverpool's season
rather than genuine belief the afternoon would end in a title party.
With Liverpool and Tottenham's Champions League heroics showing
anything is possible, Klopp had insisted one more football miracle
couldn't be ruled out.
As ever, Liverpool made a fast start and Senegal winger Mane gave them hope of an astonishing finale in the 17th minute.
Mane started the move with a sweeping pass wide to Trent
Alexander-Arnold on the right and the defender slipped the ball back to
Delivering a precise return pass, Henderson sent Alexander-Arnold
racing away and his low cross deflected into the path of Mane, who fired
home from close-range.
The ear-splitting noise around Anfield spoke of renewed faith as
Liverpool moved to the top of the as-it-stands table while City were
being held by Brighton.
Ten minutes later there was an even louder roar when the news filtered through that Glenn Murray had put Brighton ahead.
Even Kenny Dalglish, the Liverpool manager when they last the won the title, was scrambling to check the score on his phone.
But, just as fans erupted in scarf-waving delight, seconds later they
learned of Sergio Aguero's equaliser for City, triggering an agonised
wail of frustration from supporters holding their heads in their hands.
After a false alarm when Liverpool fans celebrated what they wrongly
thought was a second Brighton goal, it was the taunting cheers of Wolves
supporters in one corner of the stadium that broke the news that City
had scored again.
Needing a Brighton goal hundreds of miles away on the south-coast
more than they needed to do anything else themselves, both Liverpool and
the crowd were flat at the start of the second half.
When Riyad Mahrez effectively wrapped up the title with City's third
goal, Wolves fans delighted in chanting "Raheem Sterling he's top of the
league" in reference to the former Liverpool winger now playing for the
By the time Mane turned in Alexander-Arnold's cross in the 81st minute, all thoughts had turned to the bid for European glory.