Liverpool cemented their position at the top of the Premier League over Christmas on Friday as they beat Wolves 2-0 at Molinuex.
In doing so, Jurgen Klopp’s men depicted their stunning and somewhat unforeseeable progression over the past 12 months.
It has been the monumental development as a defensive unit that has unsurprisingly received the most coverage in light of well-publicised woes at the back in recent years.
Their latest win marked a league-high 11th clean sheet of the season, with the Reds having shipped just seven goals over their opening 18 games.
This means Liverpool have conceded fewer goals this term than in their first four matches in 2017/2018, which saw them draw 3-3 against Watford on the opening day and suffer a 5-0 defeat away to Manchester City in early September.
We conceded more goals in the first four matches of the 2017/18 campaign than we have after 18 games this season. Lol.
— Sam McGuire (@SamMcGuire90) December 21, 2018
A major turning point for the club last season proved to be October’s 4-1 defeat to Tottenham at Wembley as Dejan Lovren endured a tough afternoon against Harry Kane.
It called for a more intense focus from Klopp on his defensive approach and ultimately led to the club breaking its transfer record with the £75million signing of Virgil van Dijk in January.
Liverpool have since looked a different force with the Dutchman in their ranks, offering much needed balance to their gung-ho attacking philosophy.
Van Dijk’s introduction has evidently coincided by a lift in Lovren’s form, as well as the emergence of the exceptional Joe Gomez at centre-back since the summer.
Splashing £67million on goalkeeper Alisson has also been a defining aspect to the team’s dominance in recent months.
Since their loss to Spurs, Liverpool have lost just three of their 47 league matches.
Since losing to Spurs at Wembley in October 2017, Liverpool have lost just 3 of the 47 Premier League games since. pic.twitter.com/GqzFRpzdfi
— LFC Stats (@LFCData) December 21, 2018
For Liverpool to be heading into Christmas unbeaten on 48 points would have been unthinkable a year ago.
For Liverpool to be doing so underlines the extent of their improvement, not to mention their undeniable title credentials.
In striking contrast to their current record, the Reds finished with 58 points in 2004/2005 and just 52 in 2011/2012. It also took them 31 games in both 2012/2013 and 2015/2016 to reach their current tally of 48 points.
Liverpool currently on 48 points in late December.
They ended up with a points total of 58 in 2004-05 and 52 in 2011-12. #LFC
— Glenn Price (@GlennPrice94) December 21, 2018