Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold believes their demolition of Crystal Palace was a statement performance.
The 4-0 win at Anfield was so one-sided the visitors failed to register a touch in their opponents’ penalty area, a statistic never recorded since such data was first collected in the 2008-09 season.
No fans were present to witness one of the best displays of what has been a remarkable campaign but Alexander-Arnold felt that almost made it even better as Liverpool moved within touching distance of a first league title in 30 years.
“I think we put in a world-class performance, probably one of our best of the season, so it’s something to be proud of,” said the England international.
“We’ve come here after such a long time and obviously without the fans it was difficult. It was different but we put in a performance to be proud of. We showed that we can get back into our rhythm.
“I think we’ve sent a bit of a statement – the quality of the performance behind closed doors is probably one of the best that people have ever seen.
“I think as a team we showed the quality that we’ve got. We’ve got to be proud of what we did and now focus on the next game.”
Manager Jurgen Klopp was certainly impressed, having been frustrated by their goalless draw with Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday.
The result pushed them to the brink of that long-awaited championship but the manner in which they did it was more significant for the Reds boss.
“This game will last a while in my mind, this is for us what we want to be and what we have to show against each and everybody,” he said.
“You shouldn’t underestimate how much this team wants it. You should not. This team really wants it; they want to fulfil the wishes of the people at home.
“We all have a common dream, but we have to work for it and we have to work our way for it. We cannot play like other teams, but we can play pretty good stuff.”
Liverpool’s next game is at nearest rivals Manchester City in a week’s time but the title could already have been wrapped up by then should Pep Guardiola’s side not beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night.
But whether they head to the Etihad as champions or needing just a draw to confirm their return to the top of English football, Klopp is already looking forward to it.
“I am pretty sure any way that the game next week against Man City is a must-watch for each football fan on this planet because whatever will be decided or not, two really, really good teams face each other and that will be pretty interesting, to be honest,” he added.
“Eight days off – nobody wants that but because of situation of City, how many games they have played and the competitions they are in – and the FA still wants to have their games at the weekend – there was not a big chance for the Premier League to do it differently.”
The break will not help with maintaining Liverpool’s all-important momentum but Klopp has accepted the situation and with six games in 17 days coming up in July he knows there is likely to be more interruption in terms of his team selection.
“It is like it is, so we need to find solutions and we need all the boys,” he said.
“We will need them all, they will all play and they will all have game time, which is nice.
“We cannot change just like we want with eight, nine, 10 players or whatever, we have to dig in and to get through that – and I hope we will.”
In more positive news 20-year-old academy graduate Liam Coyle has signed a new contract to extend his association with the club into a second decade.
However, Nathaniel Clyne, who has not played a first-team game for the club since May 2018, will be released at the end of the month following the expiry of his contract.