In another world Liverpool would be Premier League winners. Such were the margins a change in wind direction could have influenced the title heading down the other end of the East Lancs Road.
What it does mean though is that there’s a huge amount of pressure on the club to win the Champions League next Saturday, not least because a trophyless season would indeed be a travesty for a team who have consistently thrilled.
Beat Tottenham though and it’s more than just a trophy, it’s a win that could start a habit of it, transforming Jurgen Klopp from the “Nearly Man” he’s been labelled and giving top clubs a reason really fear the Reds.
Liverpool go into the game as big favourites, with many Champions League tips predicting a runaway. However, Spurs have proved they can be a danger and it’ll be far from straight forward.
Few players in the current Liverpool squad have won a major title. James Milner of course has a few league titles to his name, but that’s about as far as it goes. As Manchester City have proven this year and indeed the Reds did throughout the glory years, the taste of winning is infectious.
A sixth European Cup could be the catalyst to enhance that ruthless streak Klopp’s men enjoyed over the final months of the season, most notably in the comeback against Barcelona and take them to a first Premier League title next term.
The margins were fine, but Liverpool will know where they slipped up and that was in the seven draws across the season. Boosting that winning mentality with silverware could be key.
That has been there in more recent fixtures, the win over Newcastle a prime example. Those experiences, alongside a Champions League win will encourage the same again next year.
For the first time in a long time, Jurgen Klopp’s men are on the cusp of building a real winning culture, with rewards at the end of it and a legacy players and fans can be proud of. If that doesn’t spur them on to go one step further in the title race next season, nothing will.
It’s likely the club will continue to strengthen in the transfer window too, bolstering those chances even further. Matthijs de Ligt is being rumoured to join up with van Dijk in the heart of the defence while the club are also linked with James Rodriguez, alongside a number of other forwards.
Next week can’t come quick enough and you really do get the feeling that a win could be the beginning of something very special at Anfield.