Watford threw up a surprise with their 3-0 hammering of champions-elect Liverpool.
In the Reds’ list of remaining games of the season, the trip to Vicarage Road looked to be one of the most innocuous, but a Sarr-inspired performance earned a deserved win – one that meant two of our biggest achievements remain unsullied.
It was close but our record for most matches without loss – 49, 49 undefeated – and our Invincibles season remain intact and without equal.
Jurgen Klopp’s side came mightily close. We were left sweating, looking at every match, result, goal and feeling increasingly resigned to seeing Liverpool grab their own version of an undefeated season.
This is something we will have to get used to.
Just one look at the top five unbeaten sequences shows that both Liverpool and City have both gone on runs that have come close to reaching that magical mark of 49. Klopp’s side were just five games away from matching that number – and it shows that the Premier League is changing – and not for the better.
The disparity between the ‘have’s’ and ‘have not’s’ is growing. TV money may have inflated every single team’s budget, but the gap between Liverpool, City and the rest in the last three seasons is akin to seeing an iceberg break off and sail off into the sunset.
The quality and consistency is something that the next group of teams can only dream of – and that includes us.
It means that the gold trophy and that famous chant we reverberate around our stadium regarding playing the Arsenal way? It will be something we cling to ever more feverishly as the Scousers and City continue to push the standards higher.
The time will come when a side does take the season by storm and avoids defeat for the entirety. If Liverpool keep this form up they will earn far more points that our Invincibles did and so the claims will be made that Klopp’s team were far better.
Every conversation in the media about the greatest ever team to grace the Premier League involves talk of our greatest ever side. If Liverpool did do the unthinkable and match our achievement, it wouldn’t lessen what Arsene Wenger masterminded in 2004.
But, there will come a time when it happens again, and it won’t be the big gap between the first occurrence of an unbeaten season and ours – Preston in the 1800’s. It will be in the next ten to twenty years, perhaps sooner.
We need to get to grips with that. The panic involved when watching Liverpool systematically dismantle each challenger was real. The game before their loss to Liverpool saw West Ham take the lead but ultimately fall short as Liverpool kicked into gear. It was like they had woken up and then seemed to score at will. It was frightening, they have been that way for the majority of the season.
That is why we all worried. All records were in sight for the Reds, they had dropped points just ONCE.
They have got lucky of course. VAR and some comical defending/goalkeeping has gifted them points they shouldn’t have registered but there can be no argument about them not deserving the title.
Still, their defeat to Watford at least allows us to keep those records in our armoury for a little longer at least.
With City possibly being without European competition next season and Liverpool with a squad in rude health, next season could be tougher than ever for the rest of the league, never mind our intent to keep our records untarnished.
At the moment though, is their trophy gold?