Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson lifted the Premier League trophy on the Kop at a near-empty Anfield to mark the club’s first top-flight triumph for 30 years.
Henderson received the trophy from Reds legend Sir Kenny Dalglish, who was manager when Liverpool last won it in 1990, during a spectacular ceremony after the champions beat Chelsea 5-3.
Liverpool were confirmed as champions on 25 June with seven games to spare, when nearest rivals Manchester City lost at Chelsea, but they had to wait until their final home game of the season to be presented with the trophy.
They did so in front of their families, who were given special permission to attend the trophy presentation.
“We’ve been waiting a long time,” said Henderson, who is recovering from a knee injury. “Walking up there was amazing, the lads deserved the moment and thankfully the families were watching.
“To crown it off like that was really special.”
There were no supporters in their 53,000-capacity Anfield home after the Premier League season resumed on 17 June behind closed doors following a three-month suspension because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Merseyside Police had warned fans not to repeat the widespread gatherings that took place on the city’s waterfront after the club’s title win last month – amid fears of a spike in infections – and Reds boss Jurgen Klopp urged them to celebrate at home.
A small group of fans, some with red flares, greeted the team coach when it arrived at the ground before kick-off, and fireworks were set off outside Anfield throughout the match.
During the game, Merseyside Police announced they had put in place a dispersal order between 21:30 BST on Wednesday and 21:30 BST on Friday as they anticipated large crowds gathering.
Dalglish, who scored 172 goals in 515 appearances as a Liverpool player between 1977 and 1990, handed out medals during a ceremony which involved a light show and pyrotechnics.
Klopp and his players sang the club’s famous anthem You’ll Never Walk Alone on the pitch after lifting the trophy.
Asked if he had a message for fans, Klopp said: “If you don’t see that we do it for you, I can’t help you.
“You made us happy, we all should celebrate at home. Prepare for a party and when this virus has gone we will have a party.”
After 30 years of near misses, some dark days and even mid-table finishes, Liverpool finally ended the club’s long wait to be champions of England for the 19th time.
It started on 9 August 2019 when they beat newly promoted Norwich 4-1 in the opening match of the 2019-20 Premier League season.
That result set the tone for what was to come.
Having finished one point behind champions Manchester City in 2018-19, the Reds were relentless, winning their first eight league games.
Despite travelling to Qatar for the Fifa Club World Cup in December, they finished 2019 with a 13-point lead.
That had grown to 25 points when the Premier League was suspended in March because of Covid-19.
Klopp later admitted he was “worried” about the season being declared null and void during the enforced shutdown. As it turned out, Liverpool’s tally of 82 points from 29 games when football was stopped was enough to win the title. Manchester City, who are guaranteed to finish second, can only reach 81.
Wednesday’s victory over Chelsea means Liverpool are on 96 points – 18 ahead of City – with one game, at Newcastle on Sunday (16:00 BST), to go.
On 1 May 1990, Liverpool’s players paraded the league trophy around a packed and joyous Anfield.
It was the last time they would celebrate such a success for three decades.
Wednesday’s celebrations come after Klopp’s side have spent the season rewriting the history books.
At one stage the Reds had a 25-point lead, the biggest ever in English top-flight history.
By claiming the title with seven matches to spare, Liverpool beat the mark set by Manchester United in 2000-01 and Manchester City in 2017-18, who both became champions with five matches remaining.
When Liverpool reached 61 points from their opening 21 matches, it was the most a team had ever accumulated at that stage in any of Europe’s top five leagues.
However, there is one record Klopp’s side have missed out on.
Manchester City’s record of 100 points in a single season set in 2017-18 remains as the most the Reds can reach is 99.