May 16, 2021

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Would Liverpool be top four with fans allowed at Anfield?

Anfield had been waiting for a 30-year-old title in the Premier League before Jurgen Klopp led Liverpool to the top of English football in 2019/20.

An absolutely extraordinary season for the Merseyside giants included a number of magical moments, especially at home.

Anfield used to be a fortress, probably the most intimidating visitor place in Europe’s top five divisions.

Backed by a terrifying atmosphere, staged by over 53,000 souls, Liverpool created a staggering 68-game unbeaten home run in the Premier League.

A remarkable series that spanned three different seasons culminated in a return of 18 wins from 19 home games in 2019/20.

Frantic Liverpool fans are known for producing a unique atmosphere that often paralyzes the visitors ‘sides as they put wind in their teams’ sails.

It comes as no surprise that the second-longest unbeaten home ground in Premier League history stopped in front of empty stands.

Last season, it would be unthinkable for Burnley to even dream of collecting all three points at Anfield.

Without supporters at the stadium, however, the Clarets snatched a 1-0 victory on January 21 to end Liverpool’s overwhelming run.

Empty stadiums remove the sides of home comfort

The coronavirus pandemic forced the Premier League to close its stadiums, which has had a devastating impact on home teams.

Liverpool is probably the best example of how harmful this decision has been. Although injuries to key personnel have been devastating, they have a little more than usual in terms of results and home performances.

Without their feverish fans to carry them forward, the reigning champions have endured a thoroughly overwhelming Premier League home campaign.

Since the turn of the year 2021, the Reds have claimed just one win in nine Premier League matches at Anfield and lost six in a row before a 2-1 win over Aston Villa on 10 April.

After seeing the longest undefeated home run in the club’s history, Klopp has watched his team set an unwanted club record of six straight Premier League losses at Anfield.

In Liverpool’s 129-year history, no generation had ever suffered six consecutive league losses at home before this season’s failure.

Moreover, Klopp’s men could not find the net five times during the above six-game losing streak.

While many put Liverpool’s dip in shape down to Virgil van Dijk’s injury, there’s a genuine sense that the absence of fans is the main reason for the team’s collapse.

It’s hard to say whether the Merseysiders would have defended the title with supporters to stand behind them, especially with Manchester City in commanding form this season.

But from a historical point of view, there is no doubt that a frightening crowd completely changes the complexity of Liverpool’s home games.