Reliving Liverpool’s biggest triumphs under Klopp’s reign

Jurgen Klopp has extended his stay at Liverpool for another two years, signing a new contract that will keep him at Anfield until June 2026. Rumors began to swirl that the German and his coaching team had agreed to new terms, and the club made it public on Thursday. The news comes as Liverpool seeks a record quadruple. They have already won the EFL Cup this season, are in the FA Cup final, are only one point behind Premier League leaders Manchester City, and have a 2-0 lead over Villarreal ahead of the second leg of their Champions League semi-final. Injury-ravaged Liverpool finished third in the Premier League in 2020-21, 17 points behind Pep Guardiola’s City, but Klopp has demonstrated that was a fluke with the Reds back in devastating form this season. Following the announcement of Klopp’s new contract, Stats Perform looks back at some of the best and most significant victories from his five and a half years in charge… Liverpool defeated Borussia Dortmund 4-3 in April 2016. Klopp may have felt he had much to prove when facing his former club in the Europa League quarter-finals, but things appeared to be going horribly wrong. After drawing 1-1 in the first leg, the Reds trailed by two goals twice at Anfield and needed at least three goals in the closing 25 minutes – which they accomplished. Philippe Coutinho, Mamadou Sakho, and Dejan Lovren all scored, with Liverpool hitting all four shots on target in the encounter. January 2018: Liverpool 4-3 Manchester City Although Liverpool still trailed Premier League leaders City by 15 points following this triumph, there is a sense that this victory was a watershed moment for Klopp’s Liverpool. City was unbeaten in the league at this stage, but Liverpool looked every bit their equal for much of the game. While City’s two late goals ensured a tight finale, the Reds were well deserved the three points in what will be remembered as a modern classic. Liverpool defeats Barcelona 4-0 in May 2019. The Reds appeared to have little hope in this game. Lionel Messi led Barcelona to a 3-0 victory against Liverpool in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final showdown, moving them one step closer to the final. Klopp’s team, on the other hand, was in fantastic form for their return to Anfield, with Divock Origi providing some early hope with a seventh-minute opener. Georginio Wijnaldum then scored twice in the second half to restore parity, before Origi completed the comeback 11 minutes from time. It was the first time a team overcame a three-goal first-leg deficit to win a Champions League/European Cup semi-final since 1986. Tottenham Hotspur 0-2 Liverpool (June 2019) It wasn’t a masterpiece in terms of spectacle, but Liverpool fans – and Klopp – won’t have minded. The Reds were European champions for the sixth time in 2019 after defeating Tottenham 2-0 in Madrid, with Mohamed Salah and Origi scoring. Liverpool defeats Manchester United 2-0 in January 2020. The 2019-20 title was Liverpool’s first in 30 years – during that time, fierce rivals Manchester United had won it 13 times to become the most successful club in the English top division. While Klopp’s side was already 16 points clear at the top with a game in hand when the ailing United visited Anfield in January 2020, there was a sense that their procession began with this 2-0 victory, which put them 16 points clear with a game in hand. Liverpool 0-5 Manchester United, October 2021 In October, Liverpool wreaked havoc on United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer once more. The departure of Paul Pogba undoubtedly assisted the visitors, but the gap was obvious even before that. This was the Red Devils’ greatest defeat against their bitter rivals since 1895 (Liverpool triumphed 7-1 at Anfield), and their worst at home in the club’s history. Mohamed Salah led the way with a hat-trick, becoming the Premier League’s highest-scoring African player. Six months later, the Reds hammered United again, winning 4-0 on Merseyside.

How Klopp’s charisma converted doubters into believers

When Jurgen Klopp was introduced as Liverpool’s new manager in front of a packed media room in October 2015, he stated that his objective was to “convert doubters into believers.” He thought Reds fans had grown accustomed to coming so close yet so far, with the club having not won a league title since 1990 and only one trophy – the 2012 League Cup – since 2006. Early in his tenure, after his new club had gone down 2-1 to Crystal Palace at Anfield, he was shocked to see fans departing with nearly 10 minutes to go, admitting he felt “very alone” at the time. Fast forward to April 2022, and after winning the Champions League, Premier League, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, and EFL Cup, it is safe to say that Liverpool fans are now believers, as they sang Klopp’s name at the top of their lungs during the 2-0 Champions League semi-final first leg victory over Villarreal. The Reds are still in with a chance of winning an unprecedented quadruple this season, having already won the EFL Cup, with an FA Cup final against Chelsea to come, a lead in their Champions League semi-final, and sitting just a point behind Premier League leaders Manchester City with five games remaining. The news on Thursday that Klopp had signed a two-year extension to his Anfield contract, extending it until 2026, came as a huge boost to fans ahead of what promises to be an exciting run-in, and Stats Perform has looked at some of the key steps that took those doubters and filled them with such belief. Before dawn, it is the darkest. There was a lot to sort out with the group that Brendan Rodgers had left behind. If you look at the team Klopp selected for his first game in charge against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, you’ll see names on the bench like Jerome Sinclair, Joao Teixeira, and Conor Randall, names that aren’t too famous to many people right now. “The game included numerous high-octane moments. We need to improve, but after three days of training with the players, I am fully satisfied “Klopp admitted after the 0-0 tie that he understood he had his work cut out for him. Although Liverpool finished seventh in the league with just 60 points in 2015-16, trailing both Southampton and West Ham, Klopp did manage to reach two finals, the EFL Cup and the Europa League. He ended up losing both of them, on penalties to Manchester City and 3-1 to Sevilla. The players were depressed, but as Reds captain Jordan Henderson explained earlier this week, Klopp encouraged his players to enjoy what they had accomplished and what he was confident would come in the future. The first stage of evolution Many people were underwhelmed after signing Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum ahead of his first full season in charge, but those concerns were quickly dispelled as Liverpool began to play the type of football that has since been synonymous with them. A 4-3 triumph at Arsenal on the first day of the season set the tone, however, it was quickly followed by a 2-0 setback at Burnley, in which Liverpool failed to capitalize on their 80 percent possession at Turf Moor. However, as the season continued, Klopp was able to coax a powerful front three of Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Philippe Coutinho, with Mane and Coutinho scoring 13 Premier League goals each and Firmino adding 11 more. A 3-0 win over Middlesbrough at Anfield on the final day of the season secured Liverpool’s place in the Champions League, but the question was whether Liverpool could remain competitive in the league while also navigating a European campaign. No player is more important than the club. Liverpool had added Mohamed Salah from Roma to their already deadly attack, but the 2017-18 season appeared to be thrown into disarray before it had ever begun, with Coutinho handing in a transfer request the day before the season opener at Watford. The Brazilian was compelled to wait until the January transfer window before being permitted to join Barcelona, but it did not stymie Klopp’s side, thanks in large part to Salah’s revelation. The Egyptian scored four goals in all competitions in his debut season with the Reds, and his performance, combined with the signing of Virgil van Dijk in January, led to Liverpool reaching the Champions League final in Kyiv. They were eventually defeated by Real Madrid, thanks to some strange goalkeeping from Loris Karius and a stunning goal from Gareth Bale, but it seemed like the beginning of something, not the finish. Making amends Klopp appeared to have solved his two major weaknesses after adding Alisson and Fabinho to an already strong team, and it showed as Liverpool became a nearly unstoppable force. They went head-to-head with a surging Manchester City in the title chase, while also demonstrating a desire to avenge their Champions League heartbreak. They did it after a stunning 4-3 aggregate triumph over Coutinho and Barcelona in the semi-finals, before defeating Tottenham 2-0 in Madrid to deliver Klopp his first trophy at the club, probably the most important of them. However, in some people’s opinion, the most important one was the Premier League, which they lost to City by a single point despite amassing an astonishing 97. Only City that year and the year before had ever gained more points in England’s top division, but it didn’t result in a league title. Part two of righting wrongs Liverpool, as they had done in the Champions League, had a sense of purpose to go one better in the league in 2019-20, which resulted in the title battle being over before it had ever begun. A 3-1 win over City at Anfield in November put the Reds nine points ahead of Pep Guardiola’s men, and they never looked back until they were forced to call it quits. After a brief hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Liverpool returned to complete the job and secure their first league title in 30 years, finishing the season with 99 points, two more than the previous year. Is this the beginning of the end? Every club had lost its fans as a result of the pandemic, and no one was allowed into the grounds. While the increasingly convinced Kop was missed, it wasn’t until Klopp began to lose his defense that difficulties surfaced in 2020-21. By mid-November, he had lost Van Dijk and Joe Gomez to long-term injuries, and Joel Matip completed the set in January, meaning Liverpool had to play the majority of the season with midfielders or rookie defenders at center back. This resulted in a drop in outcomes, leaving people wondering if the ride was finished. Had Klopp’s tenacious Reds finally peaked, and was this the unavoidable result of shining so brightly? Liverpool clinched third place and a key Champions League spot thanks to a string of hard-fought victories, including a stunning stoppage-time winner from Alisson at West Brom. Were rumors about their demise overly exaggerated? The chasers of the quadruple They had, indeed. Liverpool has discovered new degrees of excellence this season, if not new levels of brilliance, with all of their defenders returning and Ibrahima Konate joining from RB Leipzig. They have returned to challenging City and have established themselves as one of the teams to beat in Europe as well. They are now the Premier League’s leading scorers, with 85 goals in 33 games, and have won 13 of their previous 14 league games, with a 2-2 draw against City the sole blemish. Can they go all the way and set a new record by winning the quadruple? It still appears doubtful, but whether they do or do not, the news that Klopp’s tenure at Liverpool has been extended for another two years can only be good.

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