Published On: Sun, Oct 20th, 2019

Jurgen Klopp plays down ‘The Streak’ but Liverpool boss knows achievement is astonishing | Football | Sport

Jurgen Klopp calls it ‘The Streak’ – the incredible 17-match winning run for his Liverpool team in the Premier League.

He also tries to deflect attention from the charge on history by claiming he “is not interested in the numbers” as Liverpool try to make it 18 consecutive victories when they visit Manchester United today.

This doesn’t wash. Football managers are obsessed with numbers and statistics, and Klopp knows full well that triumph at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon would mean his side equal the English all-time record held by his great rivals Manchester City.

It would be another huge psychological blow in Liverpool’s favour as they chase a first league title in 30 long years.

“We are not fussed really by people talking about the winning streak,” said Klopp after win No 17 against Leicester.

But he would much rather the conversation is about that than dropping points for the first time this season; about doubts creeping in.

Klopp’s reticence is perhaps understandable, but ‘The Streak’ is an astonishing achievement already.

Only one team in the major leagues of Europe has ever done it, Pep Guardiola’s side two seasons ago here in England.

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Bayern Munich, AC Milan and all the other giants of continental football have never won 17 in a row. Never.

This is the scale of the current City and Liverpool sides in a Premier League widely reckoned to have the most strength in depth of any domestic competition.

Another piece of context. In the whole history of the European game only five clubs in what might be called middling leagues have ever won more than 18 in succession – Benfica (29), Dinamo Zagreb (28), Celtic (25), Red Star Belgrade (24) and PSV Eindhoven (22).

There is a wider element to ‘The Streak’ for this Liverpool side as well, one that is less acknowledged but equally if not more outstanding.

They have suffered just one league defeat in their last 47 matches, a narrow loss away to Manchester City last January – a phenomenal run of good form.

In that time they have also reached two Champions League finals.

Another exceptional statistic is that Klopp’s side have just two Premier League defeats in 54 matches, a run going back to March 2018 when they lost 2-1 on a visit to Old Trafford.

It was after this match that the Liverpool streak truly began, a run that has grown in power and authority to make them seem almost invincible.

Every bookmaker in the land makes them odds-on favourites to win at Old Trafford, visiting as the current league leaders for the first time since October 1996, some 23 years ago.

They are just more numbers that signal what ‘The Streak’ really means.

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