Lost, amid the sublime composure of £75 million Virgil van Dijk, the fan-pleasing marauding runs of full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson and the promise of Joe Gomez, stands Joel Matip, the forgotten centre-half who may have as big a say in tomorrow’s Champions League Final as any Liverpool star.
It would have been a crying shame if, after such supreme consistency from the top two, the Premier League title race had been decided before the final day. Having witnessed a battle without any of the typical twists and turns, anything but a final shootout would have been anticlimactic.
The 24th change in top place in the Premier League did not come without the predictable healthy dose of nerve-shredding drama as Mohamed Salah’s 90th minute header forced Toby Alderweireld to turn the ball into his own goal, gifting Liverpool a sorely-needed victory.
As acts of vindication go, Jordan Pickford’s game-saving block to deny Mohamed Salah as the prolific Liverpool forward looked poised to open the scoring in the first half of a tense Merseyside derby was up there with the best of the Premier League this season.
It may not have been quite as dramatic or memorable as that Steven Gerrard goal almost 14 years ago to the day but, as Mohamed Salah clinched Liverpool’s place in the Champions League knockout stages, this important victory certainly carried echoes of that famous night.