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Liverpool crowned champions: Five key games in title-winning campaign

:Headline: Liverpool crowned champions: Five key games in title-winning campaign:
Sports Mole looks back at five of the key matches during Liverpool's 2019-20 title-winning campaign.

Liverpool have won the 2019-20 Premier League title following Manchester City's defeat at the hands of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this evening.

The Reds' 4-0 drubbing of Crystal Palace on Wednesday left Man City knowing that only a victory in West London would prolong their reign as champions until Liverpool visit the Etihad Stadium on July 2.

However, Chelsea's 2-1 victory leaves Man City 23 points adrift of Jurgen Klopp's side with only 21 points left to fight for, giving Liverpool an unassailable lead.

The result caps off a campaign of unprecedented dominance for the Merseysiders as they end a long, 30-year wait to be crowned champions of England for a 19th time, and a first since 1990.

Here, Sports Mole looks at five of the key games during Liverpool's record-breaking and history-making campaign.

Liverpool 2-1 Leicester City (October 5)

Liverpool came into this meeting with Leicester and former boss Brendan Rodgers, who came so close to winning the title himself at Anfield in 2014, having already won their opening seven games of the season.

Many of them could well have been chosen in this list too - the opening-day win over Norwich City which set the tone, the 2-1 triumph over Southampton in their second match which saw Danny Ings miss a glorious late chance and victories over the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea.

It was this match against the Foxes when it really felt as though this could be Liverpool's year, though, as James Milner tucked home a 95th-minute winner to make it eight wins from eight in 2019-20 and 17 in a row stretching back to last term.

Leicester were third in the table at the time and had equalised in the 80th minute to seemingly grab a smash-and-grab draw, but Milner's nerveless spot kick ensured that the Reds stayed perfect.

One day later Man City were beaten by at home by Wolverhampton Wanderers, leaving Liverpool eight points clear at the top after eight games.

Aston Villa 1-2 Liverpool (November 2)

In the month or so since that Leicester victory, Liverpool dropped their first points of the season and needed a come-from-behind win over Tottenham Hotspur, and it looked as though their unbeaten start could end at Aston Villa too.

Dean Smith's side, now battling against relegation, led from the 21st minute courtesy of a Trezeguet strike, and at the very least Liverpool looked certain to drop two points when the game ticked into the 87th minute with the scoreline still the same.

However, a dramatic equaliser from Andrew Robertson was then followed by a 94th-minute Sadio Mane winner to ensure that Liverpool's lead at the top remained six points rather than being cut to three.

Liverpool 3-1 Manchester City (November 10)

Part of the reason why that late comeback against Aston Villa was so important was the visit of champions Man City to Anfield in their very next Premier League game.

Defeat to Villa would have given Man City the chance to move level on points with a victory on Merseyside, but instead Liverpool's win against Pep Guardiola's side saw them build a commanding nine-point lead over their opponents, who dropped to fourth.

Fabinho's stunner set Klopp's side on their way before Mohamed Salah finished off a scything team move to give Liverpool a two-goal lead within 13 minutes.

A third from Mane wrapped the game up early in the second half, and even a Bernardo Silva consolation could not dampen the atmosphere inside a raucous Anfield.

Leicester 0-4 Liverpool (December 26)

If there was any doubt about Liverpool's title credentials - or even their status as one of the Premier League's best ever teams in the making - they were blown away on Boxing Day.

A visit to Leicester, their closest challengers at the time, was seen to be one of their biggest remaining tests of the campaign, but they swept the Foxes aside for their second significant win in the fixture this season.

Trent Alexander-Arnold starred with one goal and two assists, with Roberto Firmino also netting a brace and Milner scoring from the spot against Leicester for the second time in 2019-20.

That was not the only similarity from the reverse fixture; just as was the case earlier in the campaign, Liverpool's win over Leicester was followed one day later by Man City losing to Wolves, meaning that Liverpool boasted a 13-point lead heading into the New Year.

Liverpool 4-0 Crystal Palace (June 24)

The destination of the title had long been known before Crystal Palace visited Anfield on June 24 - Liverpool's first home game back since the coronavirus pandemic.

An unprecedented three-and-a-half-month stoppage to the campaign due to circumstances no-one could have foreseen threatened Liverpool's status as champions-in-waiting, and even though football was allowed to return, fans were unable to share in the jubilation with games being played behind closed doors.

Not that Liverpool seemed affected by that; Palace arrived on their best-ever top-flight run of four successive wins without conceding a single goal and as the last visiting team to win a league game at Anfield - albeit more than three years ago.

A drab goalless draw in Liverpool's first game back - the derby against Everton - suggested that they might need time to get back up to speed too, but they were at their brilliant best in hammering Palace, equalling their biggest win of the season in the process.

All four goals were stunning in their own way, with Alexander-Arnold scoring an unstoppable free kick, Salah converting from Fabinho's delightful pass, Fabinho himself then almost breaking the net from range and Mane capping things off by finishing a brilliant team move in style.

The result left them two points from the title, and the only tinge of regret was that Anfield was empty when it would have otherwise enjoyed one of its greatest ever nights. body check tags ::

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