Jurgen Klopp’s message got through loud and clear.
Having defiantly declared that the Premier League title race was far from over, Liverpool responded to his rallying call with a dazzling demolition job on an exhilarating night at Anfield.
If Manchester City thought they had broken the Reds’ resolve with that midweek win at Old Trafford they were sadly mistaken.
There was no sense of deflation here. How could there be? There’s far too much to enjoy and admire. Liverpool remain one powerful, unified force charging towards the finish line.
Kopites still believe and rightly so. In regaining top spot, the Reds heaped the pressure back on Pep Guardiola’s side ahead of their tricky trip to Burnley on Sunday.
The outstanding Naby Keita got the ball rolling with Liverpool’s quickest goal in Premier League history.
The deadly duo of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane then struck two apiece as they continue to battle it out for the Premier League Golden Boot. Salah is one clear of his team-mate on 21.
The Kop’s Egyptian King continues to rewrite the record books. With 69 goals in his first 100 Liverpool appearances, he has eclipsed the previous best set of 68 set by Sam Raybould and Roger Hunt.
Full-backs Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold once again underlined why they are in a class of their own in the top-flight. Their contribution has been huge. Remarkably, they now boast 24 assists between them in all competitions with Robertson winning their personal duel by two.
Behind them, Alisson Becker equalled Pepe Reina’s club record for 20 clean sheets in a Premier League season.
If that wasn’t enough there was also the heart-warming sight of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain making his eagerly-awaited comeback – a year and two days after the heartbreak of suffering a serious knee injury against Roma. This was a night packed full of positives.
With 10 straight wins in all competitions, Liverpool haven’t put together this kind of run since Rafa Benitez was in charge back in 2006.
Victory lifted the Reds to 91 points – put into context that’s more than Arsenal’s Invincibles accumulated in the 2002/03 season. That’s how high the bar is set.
Liverpool haven’t dropped a single point in the last 54 days. Their consistency under pressure has been breathtaking.
This has been a season of immense progress, no matter what the final few weeks of the season holds both domestically and in Europe.
If 97 points doesn’t prove enough to land the Holy Grail of course there will be heartache. But it will be eased by the knowledge that this isn’t a flash in the pan.
This Liverpool team is built for the long-term and they will be challenging for the big prizes once again next term with a manager at the helm who Kopites wouldn’t swap for anyone.
There was a scare before kick-off when it emerged that Roberto Firmino would miss out due to a groin issue but Klopp played down talk of him missing the clash with Barca.
With Firmino given the night off, Klopp opted to hand Daniel Sturridge his first Premier League start since the win at Burnley in December. It could prove to be the striker’s Anfield farewell as he prepares to move on when his contract expires this summer.
The only change from the victory at Cardiff saw Joel Matip rested with one eye on the Nou Camp as Dejan Lovren earned a recall.
‘We’ll fight the fight for Liverpool’ read the giant banner on the Kop and the Reds were at their combative best from the off.
Rock-bottom Huddersfield’s game plan to frustrate the hosts lay in tatters inside 15 seconds.
The Terriers tried to play out from the back but Jon Gorenc Stankovic had his pocket picked by Keita. Salah’s pass released the Guinean midfielder, who coolly slotted past Jonas Lossl.
As well as being Liverpool’s quickest ever Premier League goal, it also brought up a century of goals for Klopp’s men in all competitions this season.
Keita accepted the acclaim of Anfield. The £52.75million signing has given Liverpool’s midfield a new dimension at the business end of the campaign.
The Scotland captain whipped in a beauty and Mane rose to gleefully nod low past Lossl.
Salah, Sturridge and Henderson all went close before the third goal arrived just before the break.
Alexander-Arnold turned creator with a perfectly weighted lofted pass into the path of Salah.
Lossl senselessly raced off his line and from the edge of the box the Egyptian dispatched the perfect lob into the unguarded net.