Jurgen Klopp breaks early celebration rule as Liverpool edge towards title

Celebrating before it's over has never been Jurgen Klopp style.

But the Liverpool boss looked like he broke his own rule after fist-pumping his way off the pitch after this crucial victory over Bournemouth .

The Kop, of course, loved it.

And Klopp might now just have to forgive Liverpool fans if they start popping the champagne title corks prematurely with a ban on fans attending games looming large.

After waiting thirty years for the title Liverpool are now just three wins from their Holy Grail.

But if the coronavirus threat escalates Liverpool might end up clinching the title – possibly at The Etihad against Manchester City on April 5 – in an empty stadium.

After waiting for their moment in the sun for three decades, that would be the cruellest of all blows for Kop fans desperate to fully embrace their first ever Premier League crown.

And don't even mention the open-top bus ride round the city.

Whatever happens, though, this has been an extraordinary season for Liverpool who are now 25 point clear of Pep Guardiola's City who play the Manchester derby at Old Trafford on Sunday.

And after this squeaky-bum win over Bournemouth it's safe to say this title race is well and truly over.

Liverpool fans know it's a question of when not if and a rousing rendition of 'We're gonna win the League' rang round Anfield at the end.

So who would blame them for starting the party early?

After coming from behind to take the lead against Bournemouth, Klopp and his assistants looked like they were breaking their own “one game at a time” mantra.

Running jumps of glee and raucous screams of joy from the bench greeted Sadio Mane's goal to put Liverpool 2-1 ahead and restore order for a club seemingly undergoing a mild panic attack.

Not that Liverpool lack belief, but Klopp knew the best way to stamp on any creeping doubt was to beat Bournemouth. And they did. Just.

The wheels may have wobbled slightly with defeat at Watford but there's never been a serious threat that the title won't be heading to Anfield.

Until recently they've been an unstoppable force with a desire and game-plan that's been unbeatable.

And when their football hasn't been at its lethal best Klopp's Champions League Kings have found a way to win like all champions do.

That was the story again against The Cherries.

But when you have quality like Mo Salah and Mane in your ranks uncertainty and doubt never take hold of your dressing room.

Klopp's philosophy is always centered around the team. But in Salah and Mane he has strikers at the very top level – and they proved it once again.

Salah's equalising goal, a low shot inside Aaron Ramsdale's near post, was expertly executed.

And it means Salah has scored more League goals for Liverpool and in less games than Luis Suarez.

Klopp was mightily grateful for Salah's 16th league goal of the season after Bournemouth added to the nerves coursing round Anfield with a brave mix of counter-attacking threat and a positive mindset to pose problems.

Watford got wired into Liverpool a week ago at Vicarage Road and Howe's stars clearly believed Liverpool's cloak of invincibility had slipped.

After losing twice in four days the last thing the Kop wanted was another dose of the jitters.

But Bournemouth's shock start had Anfield in full hand-wringing mode as Howe's men took a ninth minute lead.

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