It was the moment Liverpool supporters the world over had been yearning for and dreaming of for three long decades.

For most clubs, the trophies which arrived at Anfield in between the 18th top flight league championship in 1990 and what turned into the holy grail of the 19th thirty years later - namely, two Champions League titles, three FA Cups, three League Cups, three UEFA Super Cups and two Charity Shields - would be regarded as more than adequate and in some cases would constitute a golden era.

But Liverpool FC aren’t most clubs. The dynasty began by Bill Shankly in 1959 and developed by Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan and Kenny Dalglish established the Reds as England’s most successful side and was founded on repeatedly winning what Shanks called “our bread and butter”, the league title.

For all the glory and prestige of the continental conquests which saw LFC become the country’s pre-eminent side in Europe, it was the continued dominance of domestic league competition which meant Liverpool were for so long seen as the nation’s top club, with the 13 top-flight titles won between 1964 and 1990 putting the Reds way out in front with 18 in total ahead of closest rivals Everton and Arsenal, who then had nine each.

Kenny Dalglish’s champions of 1989/90 were never likely to be placed in the pantheon of Anfield’s greatest sides but they had appeared to cope with the emotional weight of what the club had endured the previous season and ultimately finished on top of the First Division by a comfortable nine points and were only denied another crack at the-then hallowed Double by a shock FA Cup semi-final defeat to Crystal Palace.

There was little on the surface to indicate the longest title drought in the club’s history was imminent but six months into the defence of their crown in February 1991 the unbearable pressure Kenny Dalglish had been under in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster coupled with his own and the club's relentless drive to be successful led to him resigning his post as team manager.

With the English game about to undergo fundamental change with the advent of the Premier League, Liverpool were thrust into a seemingly endless cycle of boom and bust which time and again saw Kopites’ hopes and dreams of a nineteenth title rise then fall as their team would show their ability to compete with the best at home and abroad while bringing silverware back to Anfield, yet somehow always fail to take that final and most meaningful step when it came to the league championship.

Roy Evans, Gerard Houllier, Rafa Benitez and Brendan Rodgers all managed to build teams which seriously threatened to end the interminable drought but every time the fates appeared to conspire against them, most heartbreakingly of all in the case of Rodgers in the spring of 2014 whose attacking but defensively flawed side were on the cusp of glory and required only seven points from their final three games to be crowned champions before stumbling with the finishing line desperately close but tantalisingly out of reach.

With Manchester United, who only had seven league titles in 1990 but under Alex Ferguson had won 13 without reply from Anfield to overtake Liverpool by a score of 20-18, now beginning their own transition following the Scot’s retirement the previous season - and with the other major contenders Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal in a state of flux (terminally in the latter’s case) - 2013/14 felt for many like the Reds’ best opportunity for years and much of the anguish felt in the wake of that nearest of near-misses centred on a fear the stars had aligned in a way they may not again for quite some time.

Some Liverpudlians began to genuinely fear their team might never win another league championship and who could blame them, given how the weight of history and expectation had continually saddled talented crops of players and managers with an onerous burden they were unable to fully shoulder.

That was until a man from Germany’s Black Forest by the name of Jürgen Norbert Klopp arrived at Anfield in October 2015.

From the very beginning, he identified the psychological impact the quarter-of-a-century wait for another league title had made on the club and its legions of fans, and made it abundantly clear his primary mission was to restore that unshakeable conviction which had characterised many of the great Liverpool sides of the past and turn ‘doubters into believers’.

Klopp’s values and personality immediately seemed made to measure for a club still stuck in the funk of the failed title bid from 18 months previous and by the end of his first part-season in charge he had led Liverpool into two finals, in the Capital One Cup and the Europa League.

Both may have ended in defeat but by this stage it was rapidly becoming evident to a rejuvenated Liverpool fanbase that their new manager ‘got’ the club and the city, knew what was required to make the team winners again, and had the determination and perseverance required to take the Reds back to the top as evidenced by his coaching successes in Germany with Mainz 05 and Borussia Dortmund which only came to pass after some initial failures.

Sure enough, after Champions League qualification was secured on the final day of his first full campaign in the charge, Klopp’s Reds rapidly evolved into a serious force to be reckoned with, surpassing expectations by reaching the European Cup final in 2017/18 with a serious of swashbuckling attacking performances led by the triumvirate of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.

They fell short in Kiev against Real Madrid but went one better the following year once Alisson Becker and Fabinho had joined Virgil van Dijk to gave the side a defensive spine on par with their formidable frontline , producing Anfield’s greatest ever fightback by recovering from three goals down after the first leg of the semi final against Catalan giants Barcelona before beating Tottenham Hotspur in the Madrid final to win the club’s sixth European Cup and crucially securing the first trophy of Klopp’s tenure.

That same, astonishing 2018/19 campaign also saw Liverpool make their strongest tilt yet at the Premier League title, matching the previous season’s 100-point champions Manchester City blow-for-blow in arguably the highest quality championship race ever seen over the final months but still manage to agonisingly fall just short despite losing only league match all season (to City) and racking up 97 points, the third-highest top flight points tally of all time.

Breaking that glass ceiling in Madrid however proved to all watching - and most crucially to Klopp’s players themselves - that this was now a winning team and a champion team which would not rest until they had finally laid to rest the ghost of nearly three decades without a league title.

Champions League final 2019

From the earliest weeks of the season, Klopp’s men looked like Premier League champions-elect and, having opened up an early points lead at the top of the table which only grew and grew, they marched inexorably and remorselessly towards title glory, winning a mind-boggling and most likely never-to-be-repeated 26 out of the first 27 league fixtures, with a draw at Old Trafford in October being the only blip.

Manchester City’s defeat to their city rivals at the same venue in early March 2020, the day after Liverpool had beaten Bournemouth at home, left the Reds 25 points clear at the top with nine matches still to play meaning Klopp’s men could be crowned champions before their next match - at Goodison Park of all places the following Monday night - if Guardiola’s side lost their next two matches.

But then the looming threat of the coronavirus pandemic struck, causing life as we knew it to grind to a halt across the planet in a manner not seen since the Second World War.

The season inevitably was suspended and, while the severity of the public health situation put everything including football into perspective, for a time the fears of those fans who worried Liverpool were cursed never to win another league championship seemed to have a chance of playing out as top-flight campaigns in countries like France and Holland were ‘null and voided’ with the results expunged from history with self-serving voices within the English game calling for the same to happen here.

Eventually it was decided the Premier League would resume behind closed doors on 17 June and Manchester City beat Arsenal at the Etihad on that first evening of football’s resumption to ensure Evertonians’ nightmare scenario of Liverpool winning the title at Goodison could no longer happen.

Four nights later, the Reds returned to action after a three-month hiatus by grinding out a goalless draw in a surreal 236th Merseyside derby played in front of empty stands on a sun-kissed late June evening, reducing their lead at the top to a mere 23 points, but the following Wednesday night Crystal Palace were hammered 4-0 at Anfield to leave Klopp’s men at match point and on the brink of destiny, with Manchester City now having to take all three points away at Chelsea the following evening to prevent confirmation of Liverpool’s 19th league title.

Here’s how that never-to-be-forgotten day and night unfolded:

THURSDAY 25 JUNE 2020

Early morning -The morning papers wax lyrical over Liverpool’s recapturing of their champions-elect swagger against Palace following a slight slump in form by their own sky-high standards of the previous 18 months, only two of the previous seven matches in all competitions having resulting in victories prior to the arrival of Roy Hodgson’s side.

“Klopp and his team now need just two more points from the final seven matches to become champions of England”, wrote the ECHO’s Paul Gorst.

“Immortality is beckoning and Liverpool are marching forward. Klopp knows, like everyone else, that Liverpool's name will be on the trophy. Now, it is simply a matter of where and when.

“There has never been a more worthy champion. Over to you, Chelsea.”

The Premier League confirm Liverpool’s next match, away at Manchester City of all places, will be played at the Etihad Stadium.

With there being a possibility that Klopp’s men could clinch the league against their closest title rivals, there had been a suggestion the game could have taken place at a neutral venue because of safety fears over fans gathering outside.

But a Manchester City Council safety advisory group agree it can be played at City's home ground, irrespective of what may or may not happen at Stamford Bridge later that evening.

Flags being sold near Anfield with Liverpool on the brink of clinching the Premier League title
Flags being sold near Anfield with Liverpool on the brink of clinching the Premier League title

With Red flags, banners and mementos appearing in ever-increasing numbers across the city as Liverpudlians get ready to celebrate, the club announce somewhat poignantly that the man who scored the goal which brought Klopp’s first win as Liverpool manager - Nathaniel Clyne in a 1-0 win over Bournemouth in the Capital One Cup back in November 2015 - is to leave the club at the end of the month upon the expiry of his contract.

Around 6pm - Klopp and his Liverpool players begin to arrive at Formby Hall Golf Resort, on the outskirts of Liverpool, some 13 miles from Anfield. Despite the manager telling reporters after the Palace game the night before he was not involved in such a gathering so as to shield the club from unnecessary headlines should City keep the title ‘race’ going, a decision to stay overnight in the four-star resort had been taken earlier in the week (provided Palace were duly beaten and with an 8-day gap before the next match at the Etihad) just in case Guardiola’s side stumbled.

Klopp later explained on LFC TV’s superb documentary Golden Sky - Jürgen Klopp's Champions, “We did what we thought was right. We have to be together, this will be forever and if something happens we have to be together otherwise we call each other and say ‘oh congratulations’.. that’s not possible.

“It started really relaxed, there was another game as well so we watched with one eye, we were eating barbecue then Chelsea and City started.”

The Liverpool squad gather at Formby Hall to watch Manchester City's game at Chelsea knowing by the time it ends they could be Premier League champions
The Liverpool squad gather at Formby Hall to watch Manchester City's game at Chelsea knowing by the time it ends they could be Premier League champions

An hour before kick off at Stamford Bridge the teams are announced and, despite some suggestions Manchester City may rest players given their continued involvement in the Champions League and FA Cup before this marathon season would end, Guardiola names a strong side with De Bruyne, Sterling and captain Fernandinho all named in the starting XI.

The home side, still needing points themselves to try and secure Champions League qualification, also hold no-one back with their attacking trio of Willian, Giroud and Pulisic holding Liverpudlians’ dreams in their hands.

With Reds across the city and the planet putting aside fifteen years of fierce rivalry for one night and one night only, the game gets underway with everyone who has LFC at heart rooting for Chelsea.

The visitors, in their lurid yellow and orange away colours, start the brighter with Bernard Silva getting an early shooting chance but scuffing his shot tamely at Kepa.

After Gundogan turns Willian’s cross behind for a corner and then Mason Mount blazes over for Chelsea, City go close when Fernandinho has a free header from Mendy’s left wing free kick but Kepa tips over.

Two chances in quick succession for former Everton midfielder Ross Barkley as Chelsea begin to take command, Liverpool may not have been able to win the league at the home of their oldest rivals but Kopites begin to wonder if this most bizarre of seasons might see a former Blue deliver the coup de grace.

The roars of delight can be heard all over Merseyside as City go behind! Benjamin Mendy loses possession to one time Anfield target Christian Pulisic - who joined Borussia Dortmund during Klopp’s time in charge there - then compounds his error by rashly diving in to give the American international the opportunity to race clear and calmly slot home beyond Ederson. City must now score twice or the title is coming home to Anfield.

Chelsea's Christian Pulisic puts his side in front against Manchester City
Chelsea's Christian Pulisic puts his side in front against Manchester City

Klopp at Formby Hall: “Chelsea scored the first goal and there was celebration like I only usually saw when we score. I didn’t like that too much, it’s too early, it’s Man City and why we celebrate like this, it’s good, they need a goal obviously for a draw.”

The half time whistle blows at Stamford Bridge and Liverpool know they are just 45 minutes away from thirty years of hurt being over.

The champagne goes (temporarily) back in the fridge as Kevin de Bruyne thunders a 30-yard free kick into the top corner to remind everyone what talent remains in this City side and how remarkably Liverpool have performed over the last ten months to open up such a huge lead over them.

Klopp at Formby Hall: “De Bruyne scores the free kick and it looks like ‘ah of course’. Some people were angry with the Chelsea goalkeeper a little bit, like ‘Jump! Or 'catch the ball' or whatever!’”

9.30pm - Suddenly City are right on top and former Anfield flyer Raheem Sterling races through before hitting the post as Liverpool fans start trying to convince themselves they’d prefer to win the title by getting a result at the Etihad.

Chelsea should be back in front as Ederson makes an uncharacteristic error by shanking a simple clearance straight to Mason Mount who advances on goal but slams his shot into the side-netting.

The nerve-shredding tension shows no sign of abating as City again go close to taking the lead through Sterling who curls an effort from the edge of the box inches away from the top corner. Reds around the world can barely watch as the game passes the three-quarter way mark with City still needing a goal to stop Liverpool being crowned champions tonight.

Chelsea go agonisingly close to retaking the lead as Pulisic goes through again, rounds Ederson but Kyle Walker scrambles it off the goal-line with millimetres to spare, then the rebound is almost poked home but more desperate City defending somehow sees the ball scrambled clear. How did that not go in?!

City seem to have escaped another mad scramble on their own goal-line but no.. PENALTY TO CHELSEA! Ederson denied Tammy Abraham’s effort from Willian’s cross and Pulisic poked the rebound goalwards only for Fernandinho to divert the ball off the line. Amid the confusion with many watching Liverpudlians wondering if it had gone over the line and why the ref’s watched hadn’t beeped, the television replay clearly shows the City captain had used his hand to keep the ball out of the net, VAR confirms a penalty to Chelsea and Fernandinho is shown the red card!

With millions of Liverpool fans across the world holding the breath, Willian steps up for Chelsea, gives a tiny stutter and lifts the ball high into the net to Ederson’s right as the City keeper dives the wrong way. Chelsea are back in front and Liverpool are a dozen minutes plus stoppage time away from being league champions for the first time in thirty years!

Willian slams home the penalty which condemns Manchester City to defeat and confirms Liverpool's first league title in thirty years
Willian slams home the penalty which condemns Manchester City to defeat and confirms Liverpool's first league title in thirty years

Klopp at Formby Hall: “The situation around the penalty for Chelsea, they had before a big chance with a block on the goal-line or whatever so then the situation again and it’s like bam, the ball is in, no it’s not, the ball is out and in the moment when they didn’t score in that situation Ali(sson Becker) gets up and says ‘I cannot watch it any more’ and gets up and leaves.

“A second later, someone says ‘it was handball!’ and they show the replay and the whole place.. everybody shouts HANDBALL!

“Then someone says ’It’s a red card!’ and everybody shouts RED CARD!

“So we wait for VAR.. handball.. red card, the penalty goes in.. celebration.. and then just counting the minutes, it was just incredible.”

Pulisic has a chance to put things to bed once and for all but last-ditch David Silva defending denies him.

Zinchenko breaks forward and puts in a dangerous cross but there’s no-one in a City shirt there to convert. The soon-to-be-deposed champions are not throwing the towel in but look a beaten side now.

The referee signals there will be six minutes of stoppage time and some Liverpudlian minds immediately switch back to the six added minutes at the end of the Reds’ epic Champions League semi final second leg against Chelsea in 2005. But this time the fear and tension is gone..

Chelsea substitute Pedro combines with Billy Gilmour who’s also just come on and curls just wide but no-one on Merseyside cares any more as fireworks and car horns get louder and louder, we just want to hear that final whistle..

10:09pm - And it finally sounds like a clarion call across the ages, City have been beaten and LIVERPOOL ARE CHAMPIONS FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1990! There is an explosion of noise, joy and pure emotion across the city and around the world amongst the legions of Reds who’ve waited what seemed several lifetimes (11,016 days and 1,151 league matches to be precise) for a moment it seemed would never arrive, tears and sheer unbridled ecstasy everywhere.

Klopp at Formby Hall: “I called my family ten seconds before the end of the game and said ‘Ok I love you all, I put the phone now on the table, leave your phone on and you can see what happens here..’

“Absolutely one of the best football moments I ever had in my life, it was absolutely exceptional. You have no idea how it would feel before it happens. It was pure joy, massive relief in the next second and then I started crying. Then I wanted to speak to Ulla (his wife) and couldn’t, I had her on the phone and I couldn’t speak, I just was crying. I didn’t know why it happened, I had no idea why, I couldn’t stop, I never had a situation in my life when I couldn’t stop crying and didn’t know exactly why."

Fans are already beginning to congregate at Anfield with flares, banners and songs in full effect as the city gets ready to party like it’s.. well 1990!

The messages and tributes begin to pour in from across the globe. BT Sport who have been showing the Chelsea-City game live cross to an emotional Kenny Dalglish - the last man remember to bring the league title to Anfield - bedecked in red and white back home in Southport who says (in-between his phone going off left, right and centre!), "The last two years and since Jurgen's come in has been very positive. He's been fantastic and epitomises everything Liverpool Football Club stands for. Whatever they got, they have deserved it.

"Onwards and upwards. We have a lot more happy days to look forward to as long as Jurgen is here.

"I remember Bob Paisley said once after winning the European Cup, he never had a drink because he wanted to remember the occasion.

"Well, I never took his advice!" he adds as he raises a big glass of champagne to the camera!

LFC principle owner John W. Henry who took over a club a crisis and on the brink of bankruptcy a little under ten years ago writes on Twitter: “This was a season for the ages and for the faithful of Liverpool Football Club. It has been an incredible year of magnificent achievement culminating tonight in capturing the Premier League title.

“The world has watched the fierce determination of this club on the field for every single match – the preparation, the resolve and the talent of those who put together perhaps the greatest league performance ever in any country's history.

“This in addition to winning a European championship, a Super Cup and a world championship -- the totality of this accomplishment has brought respite and joy to so many in a year filled with so much tragedy. LFC has made the beautiful game more beautiful than ever.

“It is said, “We are Liverpool.” You, the supporters are Liverpool in every sense and you continue to drive the club forward -- a historic club making history once again.”

Sky Sports have gone live with a special Liverpool title winners programme and have former Reds league (and European Cup winning captains) Phil Thompson and Graeme Souness but they are the first to go live with the manager of the newly-crowned Premier League champions and what an interview it is with Jürgen Klopp having to cut it short at the end such is the deep of emotion he is feeling.

Replying to a question from Souness praising the astonishing consistency his side have shown over a long period of time, Klopp says: “We all do that together, look it’s a mix of the history you created which is what we are compared with, rightly so. I think we found a good way to get a little bit rid of it because we had to right our own story but anyways on the other side that gives us a lot of power.

“It’s the atmosphere in and around the club, the intensity level, how everybody lives football in this club and then it’s 100% we had a really good hand in choosing the players, the ones we kept here and the ones we brought in, it’s a wonderful mix, there are all winners without winning fifty times in the past, we have them here now and we can start winning together, it’s so incredibly difficult in the competitions we are in and it’s only possible with consistency but that’s what drives us.

“We knew three years ago we played a really good season and finished fourth and it was clear we lacked consistency but you cannot ask for that, you have to work on that and create that, you have to convince people and that’s what we all did.

“Without the players I could do nothing but of course from time to time you have to help them a little bit with a few words and that’s what we do as well.

"It's very important to celebrate because these moments are unforgettable. We have pictures from the season and now we have pictures of the celebrations and we will create pictures in the future with the parade with our supporters.

"The boys have time together tonight. It's difficult out there still for a lot of people but tonight we couldn't hold back, we had to come together.

“The game at Chelsea was really tense tonight, it was unbelievable. I didn’t want to be involved really. But when you watch it, you are anyway really. There was big chances at both ends. It was intense, the penalty situation…

“But it’s an incredible achievement of my players. What they did over the last two or three years is exceptional. It is a pure joy for me to coach them.”

"This is for Kenny you had to wait. Stevie you too. I know how much this means to everyone."

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp on TV after title win (pic: Sky)
An emotional Jurgen Klopp is interviewed after Liverpool's Premier League title triumph

“It’s quite an achievement, but I feel overall relief. The big three-month gap, I did not know how we’d come back. There’s no easy games in the Premier League….

“I was very happy last night and that gave me the 100% feeling we will be fine. That was important for the players and tonight is for the fans.

“This is for you. I hope you stay at home and celebrate. It’s all here. We’ve done it together. It’s a joy to do it for you.

“I could not be more proud of my coaching staff. Ever since we arrived it’s been an amazing ride. It’s more than I ever dreamed of.

"This is a big moment, I have no real words to be honest. I am completely overwhelmed. I never thought it would feel like this, I had no idea.. it’s just.. big, sorry gentlemen, see you, all the best..”

The cheers, tears and messages keep flowing as Sean Cox is among the Reds and non-Reds showing their happiness at the night's events

Gracious words from Man City boss Pep Guardiola as he praises the newly-crowned champs, "Congratulations to Liverpool for this great season. We still have five or six weeks to play but we won a lot in the last few years and of course we want to close the gap.

"Two seasons ago we were 100 points and they finished more than 25 points behind. Last season they didn’t recover the distance and this season they went the distance.

"After two seasons the gap is big. We were not consistent like the previous seasons. Liverpool won the Champions League and were given confidence. They played every game like it was their last game. In the beginning, we didn't play like that way.

"We cannot forget we are still second in the league so we are better than a lot of the teams."

The tears and booze continue to flow at Formby Hall but the skipper Jordan Henderson still has time to speak to Sky Sports and underlines what Liverpudlians - even in this moment of supreme triumph - want to hear, that this Liverpool side are not done yet and are still hungry for more trophies.

"It is amazing. I didn't want to talk about it until this moment. I'm so happy for all the boys. I'm just a bit overwhelmed and it's an amazing feeling. I'm so proud of what we have achieved.

"There was a lot of emotion and it was a different experience watching the game, and then to be with everyone and all the staff at the final whistle. It was a moment we will never forget. I'm just lost for words at the minute it hasn't really sunk in, you never really think of this end moment, you are just concentrating on each game. When this moment comes, I cannot really describe it.

"After the Champions League final, I said it wouldn't be possible to win it without the manager, and that is no disrespect to the managers before him, but I felt from day one he came in the door he changed everything and we have all followed him. So far, it has been very special and I hope we can stay hungry and keep wanting more."

Professional as ever for the skipper but he’s encouraged by another Liverpool legend to let his hair down now the league is in the bag!

While in a less quiet room in Formby Hall, Virgil van Dijk’s interview with BT Sport gets ambushed.

There are scenes of celebration all over the city with many jubilant fans dancing on tables (and a few who look a safe bet to be under one soon!) but in black and white (and Red), this is the table that matters most

And into the wee small hours (and the next few days and weeks) the party continued, with the Liverpool players ensuring Robin S's 90s dance classic Show Me Love secures its place on the mythical mixtape of songs which will forever have a special place in Red hearts. .