For Liverpool, today was a long time coming. It's hard to remember a time when the Reds weren't going to be this year's Premier League champions. It wasn't a matter of if — they simply had too many points for anyone to realistically catch them.
OK, maybe it was a matter of if. Because for a while nobody was sure if the Premier League would finish, thanks to the shutdown for the global pandemic. We knew the world would never look the same. We new football (soccer!) would one day continue, and that Liverpool would one day continue to put tallies in the win column. We just didn't know if it'd actually be in 2020.
But like many major professional football leagues (including the MLS here in COVID-19-ridden America), the games continued. Sure, there aren't any fans in the stands, and the usual crowd noise is fed into the TV feed artificially (which I'd argue is a an affront to god and man and the sport itself), and today — after a 30-year wait, plus a few extra months for a novel coronavirus, Liverpool hoists the Premier League trophy.
It's a feat no other team has done. Liverpool sealed the title with seven games left on the fixtures — two games quicker than the likes of Everton (1984-85 season), Manchester United (1907-08, 2000-01), and Man City more recently in the 2017-18 season.
But the work is not yet finished. Liverpool plays host to Chelsea today at 8 p.m. local time — 3 p.m. Eastern here in the United States.
The Reds are playing for pride. Nobody wants to celebrate the league title after suffering an embarrassing loss. Chelsea, meanwhile, is very much playing for third place. (Man City is secure in second, 15 points ahead going into today's game.)
Chelsea enters today's game a point ahead of Leicester and Manchester United, and four points ahead of six-place Wolves. Chelsea and Wolves face each other Sunday on the final day of the season, and Man U and Leicester go at it. So, barring draws, there absolutely will be some movement in the tables.
But today, win or lose, is about Liverpool. It's about the Reds' remarkable season. It's about lifting that trophy and celebrating what they did — and how they did it. And like it or not, everyone's got to tip a hat to that.
How to watch Liverpool vs. Chelsea in the United States
Today's game is on NBCSN at 3 p.m. Eastern time. NBCSN is available on every major streaming service, including Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, Sling TV, AT&T TV Now, and FuboTV.
Phil spent his 20s in the newsroom of the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, his 30s on the road for AndroidCentral.com and Mobile Nations and is the Dad part of Modern Dad.
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