LIVERPOOL: A 30-year wait for a title led Liverpool fans to ignore social distancing rules as they gathered outside Anfield for celebration of their English title win on Thursday.
Liverpool were crowned Premier League champions when second-placed Manchester City were beaten 2-1 at Chelsea.
Hundreds of Liverpool supporters put coronavirus fears to one side, ignoring advice from the club’s manager Jurgen Klopp, as they converged on Anfield to start the title party.
Setting off red flares and fireworks, waving flags, hugging and drinking in the street, the fans were determined to make the most of the long-awaited first title since 1990.
Cars also gathered outside the ground, with some beeping horns as they passed scarf-wearing fans carrying crates of beer.
Fan Marilyn Nesbitt and her family, carrying a cardboard cutout of Liverpool winger Sadio Mane, had been in nearby Stanley Park as the match was played.
“This is amazing, especially for them. We’ve been waiting 30 years for it,” she said.
Videos on social media showed many of Liverpool’s players watching the Chelsea match together at a hotel.
When Reds defender Virgil van Dijk was being interviewed on BT Sport after the final whistle at Chelsea, he was briefly hugged by a group of Liverpool players wearing the team’s red shirts and singing “champions!”.
Alisson Becker, Roberto Firmino and Andrew Robertson were among the celebrating Liverpool stars.
“We won’t tell you the exact location but we are all in a hotel together as a team,” Robertson told the BBC.
“We thought something hopefully special was going to happen and that’s how it turned out.
“We went a bit crazy but the place went a bit silent when (Manchester City’s) Kevin De Bruyne bagged a worldie free-kick,” he said in reference to City’s equaliser at Stamford Bridge.
“Luckily Chelsea reacted off that. The place went wild and we could sit back and enjoy the last five minutes.”
In Liverpool city centre, the town hall and St George’s Hall were lit in red in tribute to the champions.