Liverpool are considered to be one of the biggest and best clubs in the world and rightly so. However, younger football fans may wonder why this is. Although they have been brilliant at times under Jürgen Klopp, over the past 30 years they have only enjoyed very limited success in terms of winning the league.
Indeed, at the time of writing, with them unable to get anywhere near winning the Premier League in the 2022/23 season, they have won the Premier League just once. That sole success came in the disrupted 2019/20 campaign. This means that Liverpool have only won as many PL titles as Blackburn, who play in the Championship, and Leicester – who are hardly considered one of the biggest sides in the land. It also puts them a mere one Premier League title ahead of Tottenham, rivals Everton, Accrington Stanley and all the other sides who’ve never tasted such success!
Liverpool Have Won the Premier League Once – 2019/20
The Reds’ only success in the Premier League came in a season that all fans of football will remember forever. Whilst supporters of Liverpool will revel in their glorious campaign, other fans around the world will never forget 2019/20 due to the global health issues that caused so much sporting disruption and, of course, so much loss of life.
In the end, Liverpool finished the campaign on a mammoth 99 points, 18 clear of the nearest challengers Man City. They really were incredible, winning 32 matches and losing just three. They went unbeaten at Anfield, dropping just two points there all season, and never budged from top spot for virtually the entire campaign. Incredibly, they won 26 of their first 27 games, drawing the other as an invincible season looked a very real possibility.
It was a strange old season in so many ways and just as we were all becoming aware of what was unfolding from a global health perspective, the Reds suffered their first defeat, a shock 3-0 annihilation at Watford. They won their next game on the 7th of March in 2020 and then lockdown struck. They would next play on 21st June, the season stretching out into late July.
Whilst Klopp’s men were virtually unstoppable until that loss against Watford, their record over the final 11 games (from the Watford game onwards) was less impressive. They lost three times, their only defeats of the season, and also drew with Burnley and Everton. That they were still able to accrue 99 points and finish 18 clear of City, however, shows just how amazing they were for the opening two-thirds of the campaign.
One Premier League Trophy, But Many Titles
Of course, football was not invented by Sky, nor did it begin in 1992. Whilst the Reds may have only ever won a single Premier League trophy, that is certainly not the only time they have won the top-flight title in English football. In fact, with 19 championships to Liverpool’s name, only Man United (with 20) have won the top-flight title more often than the Merseyside giants.
They won their first trophy way back in 1901 but by 1962/62 they had “only” five First Division (as it was) titles to their name. However, the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, particularly the latter two decades, saw Liverpool really dominate English football – and they were also the best team in Europe in that period too. They won their domestic league in 1964 and 1966 but between 1973 and 1979 inclusive they added a further four titles.
They then won the title in 1979/80, and also 1989/90, with a further five in between those. This was an incredible period in the 1980s where they also won two FA Cups, four League Cups and the European Cup (now Champions League) twice. So just the one Premier League, true, but a massive 19 titles in total, not to mention all the other silverware packed inside the Anfield trophy room.
Premier League Near Misses
Liverpool endured a long, long wait from their 18th championship victory to their 19th. Indeed, a full 30 years passed between their First Division win in 1989/90 and their Premier League success of 2019/20. What’s more, it probably felt like even longer to many Reds, as they were forced to endure Man United enjoying so much success in that time.
12 months before finally ending that long wait, they amassed a huge 97 points which would have been enough to win the Premier League in almost any season you care to consider. However, Man City got 98 points, and so despite only losing once all season the Reds fell just short. They won their last nine games but it wasn’t enough, four draws in six games from the end of January giving City all the hope they needed.
Klopp’s men also came so close in the 2021/22 season when they again racked up 90+ points, this time losing just twice as they came second to City (who else?) despite recording 28 wins and 92 points. That defeat was all the more painful to take as they had dreamed of a Quadruple for so long, eventually coming second in the league and Champions League and winning both domestic cups as they played in every single fixture that they possibly could. What’s more, they were the better side in the CL final. And, incredibly, were only denied the PL title when City came from 2-0 down with just 14 minutes of the whole season to go to beat Aston Villa 3-2 – and to pip Liverpool by one point.
Gerrard Bows Out Without the Title
These more recent near misses were not the only time that the Kop side almost claimed the league. Back in 2013/14 they also finished second – once more to Man City – and whilst their points tally (84) was not as impressive as that of subsequent years, the fact that they had the title in their hands will perhaps make this even harder to take.
They began the season well enough but so too did a number of other teams, chiefly Chelsea and Man City. There was a wobble but then an incredible run of 11 consecutive wins, and 14 wins in 16 unbeaten games, meant they had their destiny in their own hands. With three games to go they had a five-point lead over Chelsea and a nine-point advantage over City (who had two games in hand). Next up, Chelsea at Anfield.
Liverpool, managed by Brendan Rodgers and with Luis Suarez enjoying a stellar season, were seeking to deliver the title to their fans and the club legend, Steven Gerrard. Gerrard was nearing the end of his career, certainly with Liverpool, and the Premier League was the one trophy eluding him, the one that he and the supporters so desperately wanted.
Football being football, it was Gerrard’s slip (literally, he fell over) that allowed Demba Ba to score for Chelsea. The Blues would win 2-0, which blew the title race open but still left the Merseyside club in a strong position. However, in their next game they somehow blew a three-goal lead at Crystal Palace with just 11 minutes remaining. This gave City the clear advantage and the Mancunians rammed that home, winning their games in hand, indeed all their remaining fixtures, to pip Liverpool to glory.