Andy Robertson says he and his Liverpool team-mates were “acting like cavemen” inside the Anfield dressing room when the scale of their imminent title achievement began to dawn on them.
The Reds beat the Crystal Palace 4-0 at Anfield on June 24 to leave them just two points away from a crown that would be confirmed 24 hours later when Chelsea beat Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.
With the Premier League within touching distance, Liverpool turned on the style as goals from Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mohamed Salah, Fabinho and Sadio Mane sealed the points with a performance many viewed as one of the most complete of that season.
After the match, Jurgen Klopp’s players were in a boisterous mood and celebrated loudly inside the confines of the Anfield dressing room after wrapping up the points in their first home game in over three months because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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In his new book, which is due out this week, Robertson explains the reaction from the Reds squad as the realisation of a first league title in 30 years started to set in.
It was literally a primal scream, a release of frustration, passion and relief that seemed to come from the pits of our stomachs and reverberated around the dressing room like no noise I had ever heard before.
Just when I thought it would stop, it carried on, becoming louder and more intense. Not satisfied by the sound of thirty-odd men shouting in unison and a noise that must have sounded to anyone outside like a rumbling storm getting closer, I added to the racket, banging on the door of my locker until my hand was redraw.
Bang. Bang. Bang.
Thirty seconds became a minute. The commotion still did not diminish. There wasn’t even a pause. Nor were there any words. Pure release. No words, no tune and definitely no premeditation. It was totally surreal but, at the same time, it could not have felt more right.
I have been in football dressing rooms since I was a kid but never had I experienced anything like this and I very much doubt it will happen again.
What caused it?
We had just beaten Crystal Palace 4-0 but it wasn’t just that. This was the sound of a team which had moved within two points of becoming Premier League champions.
It was a collective cry by a group of people who feared that everything they had worked for could be taken away from them. It was a holler which told the world that Liverpool’s thirty-year wait to be crowned champions was all but over.
Fifteen weeks had passed since my last game at Anfield and everything that had built during that intervening period was pouring out.
It had been a period dominated by concerns over a virus which had brought life, as we had known it, to a halt and inflicted tragedy on so many. So much pent up emotion being released and shared that only those who were there could possibly understand what it felt like.
I’ve no doubt a psychiatrist would find other deep and meaningful reasons for it that even we haven’t considered, but one thing is absolutely for certain – it was one of the most special moments of my entire life and I’ve no doubt that everyone involved feels exactly the same.
Who would have thought acting like cavemen could be so powerful?
The fact we were in a dressing room at all was a big thing. There was a period when the return of football had been in serious doubt. A debate had taken place about whether or not sport should even be on the agenda. My own emotions were conflicted.
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