‘On a different tier’: Klopp fires title warning after Liverpool’s magnificent seven demolishes Crystal Palace in Premier League
These are unusually testing times at Anfield in which injury has deprived Klopp of two of his most dependable defensive stalwarts, Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, and the FA has rejected the coach's campaign to increase the number of substitutes available to him.
Amid those struggles, you might be forgiven for thinking that the German's Liverpool juggernaut might soon stray from its rails - but any talk of a forthcoming slump was swiftly dismissed in the December sunshine in South London on Saturday afternoon.
Liverpool began on the front foot, with Takumi Minamino taking just three minutes to become just the seventh Japanese to score a Premier League goal. It seemed, even at this early stage, that the writing was on the wall - and it was.
WHAT. A. PERFORMANCE. 👏— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 19, 2020
7 - All seven of Liverpool's goals were assisted by different players (Mane, Firmino, Robertson, Alexander-Arnold, Salah, Matip & Oxlade-Chamberlain), the first time in Premier League history seven different players have assisted a goal for a team in a match. Feast.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 19, 2020
Crystal Palace rallied for much of the next half hour before Sadio Mane doubled Liverpool's advantage on 35 minutes, and from that point on the floodgates opened. Roberto Firmino got on the scoresheet twice, with captain Jordan Henderson bagging one.
Mohamad Salah, the subject of tabloid transfer talk in Saturday's morning's UK red-tops, had been dropped to the bench but emerged late on for a predictably impactful cameo - the second of his two goals a delightfully curled strike from outside the box into the top-left corner of Vicente Guaita's net.
The win extends Liverpool's advantage over second-placed Tottenham to six points, ensuring that Klopp and his team took full advantage of Wednesday's 2-1 win against Jose Mourinho's team - although Spurs have a game in hand.
7 - Liverpool registered an away top-flight win by a margin of seven goals for the first time in their history, while it was their first seven-goal league victory since a 9-0 win over Crystal Palace in September 1989. Domination. pic.twitter.com/OWScT0qaqy— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 19, 2020
The Real Magnificent Seven 👍👏— Ŷαγœκ Şăƒίŋ (@monsafin) December 19, 2020
The reason why Liverpool can handle long term injuries to big players is because the structure of the squad and how it’s been built is spot on, they didn’t rush or get impatient when Klopp first came in, they took their time and are reaping the rewards now, unreal team— MR DT (@MrDtAFC) December 19, 2020
The result also enshrines Klopp in Anfield history. It was his 127th Premier League win in charge of Liverpool, placing him one ahead of Rafa Benitez on the club's all-time list.
Moreover, the performance - or, more specifically, the manner in which the victory was achieved - has prompted legions of fans on social media to endorse Liverpool as the surefire favorites to claim their second Premier League title in succession.
"Liverpool are inevitable. No team in the league is even close to them," one impressed fan wrote online, while another declared that "Liverpool confirmed the league is over after today."
On Saturday afternoon's evidence, it is difficult to disagree.Also on rt.com Feeling the pressure? Rattled Liverpool boss Klopp attacks journalists AGAIN over Van Dijk ahead of Champions League clash (VIDEO)