'If Liverpool beat Manchester City at Anfield, they'll win the league.' - Everyone, 9 November 2019.
'OK but really, if Liverpool come through the Christmas period with their lead intact, then they'll win the league.' Everyone, 1 December 2019.
'Yeah, but for real this time, if Liverpool beat Leicester, they're gonna win the league.' - Everyone, Christmas Day 2019.
'If Liverpool come through this triple-header with Tottenham, Manchester United and Wolves, then that's the league done.' - Everyone, last weekend.
It's time to stop putting imaginary obstacles in Liverpool's way, and face the truth; they're going to win the Premier League.
Two-thirds of the way through the most recent imposed marker on their way to the title, the Reds have taken six points. A narrow, squeezed-out win at Tottenham preceded a gutsy victory over a sturdy foe in United, putting them 16 clear at the top. Closest challengers Manchester City have just 45 left to play for.
Oh, and the Reds have a game in hand.
You could put Norwich in Liverpool's position now, and they would probably win the division.
Hell, you could put Liverpool in Norwich's position, and the way they're going, you wouldn't put it past them. (No, t
That was evident once again in the win over United at Anfield; a win that showcased all the strengths of this side, and demonstrated how it can win, win well, and win consistently regardless of the of the mitigating factors.
The performance against United showed us the illusion of chinks in the armour that we have been seeing all season.
Liverpool's defending, for a long spell in the second half, left a bit to be desired, with United finding space in behind the back four with relative frequency as they turned up the pressure in search of an equaliser.
WHAT A CHANCE! — Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) January 19, 2020
Anthony Martial blazes over from close range after finding space in the Liverpool box!
Watch on Sky Sports Premier League
Follow #LIVMUN here: https://t.co/DZky2Uk3ev
Download the @SkySports app! pic.twitter.com/9kWscpRBF5
At the other end, it can be said that each of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané have seen a dip in their collective attacking output since the start of the season, and that was once again evident as Liverpool missed a number of glorious chances to kill the game dead.
Yet, while neither defence nor attack was performing at its very best, they were able to keep a clean sheet, and rely on Salah to score the second goal.
In many ways, the victory was a microcosm of their season so far. Not stylish or breathtaking, not always convincing, but the result was there. And that's all that counts.
It's time, then, to realise that Liverpool consistently winning these relatively even games when their own performance falls slightly (or more) below par, isn't a fluke. It's not luck, fortune, an act of God or anything else that detracts from the sheer might of what they've done so far.
Rather, their ability to win these games is an attribute in and of itself. It's intangible, it's impossible to define and it's even harder to train; but it's clearly there.
And that's why they've taken 162 points from a possible 180 since the start of last season, a rate that outpaces literally every other team in the history of English football over a 60 game period.
'Now you're gonna believe us, we're gonna win the league' is a song that has so far been outlawed and stripped completely from the Anfield hymn sheet so far this season, with Reds fans not prepared to do anything to jinx their pursuit of a first ever Premier League title, as some felt they did six years ago.
"There's always an expectation to win and be successful and that will never change, hopefully for a very long time."— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) January 19, 2020
Jordan Henderson and Mo Salah insist Liverpool will not be getting complacent as they close in on their first Premier League title. pic.twitter.com/aWbzqUb8Tr