Liverpool’s season in review: Painfully close to quadruple glory

The relentless Reds won both the FA Cup and Carabao Cup before suffering Premier League and Champions League heartbreak

It may have ended in disappointment, but it’s hard to describe Liverpool’s season as anything other than a success.

What a trip the Reds fans have been on. “Make us dream,” reads the banner on the Kop, and Jurgen Klopp’s side did just that. Never before has an English club been so close to winning it all.

As things stand, they have to settle for “only” a domestic cup double, with disappointment in the Premier League followed by heartache in the Champions League in the final week of the campaign. Close, but not close enough.

But the fact that half a million supporters took to the streets for a celebratory parade last Sunday tells its own story.

There is pride, real pride, in what Liverpool have achieved this season, and in the memories and moments they have provided.

The four-timer may have proved beyond them, but with Klopp having committed his future to the club until at least 2026, optimism should be high at Anfield.

This team will come back for sure.

player of the season

In a way, it was easy. When you score 31 goals, set up 15 more, and produce half a dozen or more jaw-dropping moments of genius, there should only be one contender.

And yet, even Mohamed Salah would admit he had serious competition this season.

From Virgil van Dijk, who worked miracles after coming back from the most serious knee injury. The Dutchman made over 50 appearances in all competitions and his form, especially in the second half of the season, was of the highest quality.

Virgil van Dijk Parade of Liverpool 202-22 GFX

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The same could be said for Sadio Mane, who from February took over from Salah as the team’s go-to striker.

Trent Alexander-Arnold’s brilliance at right-back was consistent, as was Alisson Becker’s reliable presence in goal. All of them, surely, will be part of the PFA team of the season.

Goal of the season

It could only be one of Salah’s specials, and in the end his strike against Manchester City at Anfield in October won the argument.

There wasn’t even half a chance when the Egyptian received a pass from Curtis Jones in the right corner of the penalty area. He had his back to goal and three defenders for company.

But with strength and skill he put Bernardo Silva on his butt and left Phil Foden and Joao Cancelo behind. He entered the penalty area, clipping the ball past Aymeric Laporte before, with his right foot, shooting Ederson and into the far corner of the net.

Mohamed Salah Liverpool Manchester City Premier League 2021-22 GFX

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It was magnificent, a big goal in the biggest game. Salah was in the form of his life at the time and that, along with the photocopied strike against Watford in their next Premier League game, only underscored the fact.

Performance of the season

Make your choice! Perhaps you liked the demolition of Arsenal in November, or the sheer dominance of the 5-0 win at Watford a month earlier.

Perhaps Everton’s knockouts in December stand out, Champions League wins at Porto and Atletico Madrid, or Leeds’ 6-0 hammering in February? How about the FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City at Wembley?

But really, really, there can only be one answer.

Mohamed Salah Liverpool Manchester United Premier League 2021-22 GFX

Getty/GOAL

24 October 2021. Old Trafford. Manchester United 0-5 Liverpool. Four at halftime, five in 50 minutes. If they really wanted to, Klopp’s side could have scored 10.

The other side sang that day, okay. All day and all night. We will talk about it for years.

Disappointment of the season

Sadly, this happened in the very last game of an incredible campaign.

The treatment of Liverpool (and Real Madrid) fans before, during and after the Champions League final was almost a disgrace, and the response from UEFA and some French politicians made a bad situation worse.

Having witnessed some of the scenes outside the Stade de France first hand and having heard countless other stories from fans, it is important that this story is not allowed to be glossed over. People need to be held accountable.

No one should go to a football game and end up fearing for their safety, or worse.

The verdict

Overall, 2021-22 should be seen in a positive light for Liverpool. After the struggles of the previous season, Klopp and his team showed remarkable character and quality to regroup and come back stronger.

There will naturally be disappointment at having failed in the two biggest competitions.

Their performance in Paris against Real Madrid was disappointing, while unnecessary drop points during the first half of the Premier League campaign ultimately cost them dearly, although they were brilliant in bringing back a superb team from City at New Year.

The signs are there that the good times will continue. Signings like Ibrahima Konate, Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz, who dazzled after his arrival at the end of January, are expected to go from strength to strength, and the likes of Harvey Elliott, Curtis Jones, Kaide Gordon and Fabio Carvalho, who will join on July 1. , should prove to be serious players for the club in the short and long term.

A few big calls need to be made this summer – the future of Mane and Salah top among them – but with Klopp at the helm, Liverpool should be trusted to make the right decisions.

And if they do, we can expect to see them battling for the big prizes once again next season.