The last three times Liverpool were top after six games & what happened next

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Liverpool's Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah

Liverpool have developed a habit of starting the season strongly in recent years – but that hasn’t always been the case.

It’s not so long ago that slow starts under Roy Hodgson and Brendan Rodgers had Liverpool hovering above the relegation zone after half a dozen games. But there’s also been times where the Reds have set the early-season pace in the Premier League.

With Jurgen Klopp’s side currently at the top of the pile in 2021-22, we’ve identified the previous occasions Liverpool topped the league table after six matches and looked at what happened next.

1996-97

Looking to bounce back from their FA Cup final defeat in May 1996, Liverpool moved to the top of the embryonic 1996-97 league table with a 3-0 win at Leicester on matchday six.

Triumphs over Chelsea and West Ham maintained their position but a 1-0 defeat at Manchester United in October saw them relinquish top spot – and they’d never regain it.

Roy Evans’ Liverpool were right in the title mix until a home defeat against Coventry in April fatally compromised their chances. Their failure to beat Sheffield Wednesday in their final game cost them Champions League football and Liverpool finished fourth – seven points behind United and below Newcastle and Arsenal too.

READ: Roy Evans: We should have won title, maybe we were too attack-minded

2018-19

Let’s be honest, Liverpool didn’t do much wrong in the 2018-19 season.

After winning all six of their opening matches, Klopp’s side stood two points ahead of Manchester City and the stage was set for arguably the Premier League’s highest quality title race.

Draws against Chelsea and City stalled momentum slightly but Liverpool ended Boxing Day with a seven-point lead at the top.

An unlucky defeat at the Etihad in January, followed by a run of draws in February and March, would prove to be the killer as Liverpool were pipped by City come season’s end.

Still, 97 points was an incredible total and the Champions League title proved to be a significant consolation.

2019-20

Liverpool rose into first place with a win at Southampton in August 2019 and didn’t budge for the remainder of the season.

Again, Klopp’s side won their first six matches – including victories over Arsenal and Chelsea – and ended up winning 26 of their first 27 matches before being thumped at Watford in February.

Montemum stalled slightly afterwards, not helped by the COVID-enforced pause to the season, but Liverpool ended up accumulating 100 points on the way to their first league title since 1990.


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