Martin Keown may have flummoxed Liverpool supporters with his take on Mohamed Salah’s penalty claim against Cardiff City on Sunday.

But there was one opinion that spoke volumes for what Jurgen Klopp and his players are producing this season.

As part of the Arsenal team that, along with Manchester United, dominated the landscape of English football during the late 1990s and early 2000s, BBC Match of the Day pundit Keown knows what it takes to win a championship.

And when discussing the “tortuous” time in between games during a title run-in, the ex-England international expressed his astonishment at the relentless nature of this Reds side.

“Liverpool are a champion team,” he said.

A champion team, yes, but without a trophy to show for it. Yet.

Despite losing just one of 35 Premier League games this season, the Reds still find themselves hoping for favours with Manchester City, two points adrift of the leaders, possessing the ace up the sleeve of their game in hand at neighbours United on Wednesday.

That Liverpool’s solitary defeat was a narrow loss at their title rivals hasn’t been lost on those preparing to pinpoint the precise moment the championship was won and lost.

Klopp doesn’t have any time for such bull***t, as he puts it. Especially when there remains so much still to play for.

The raw facts underline the ongoing achievement of this remarkable Liverpool side.

With 88 points, they already have their highest points tally in Premier League history with three games to play.

Liverpool fans celebrate their second goal during the Premier League match against Cardiff City on Sunday
Liverpool fans celebrate their second goal during the Premier League match against Cardiff City on Sunday(Image: Getty Images)

Should they beat relegated Huddersfield Town at home on Friday, they will move on to 91 points – a total beaten only by Chelsea in 2005 and 2017, and City last season. All three were crowned champions.

And consider this.

Liverpool will finish on 97 points if they win their remaining games. If they don’t then win the title, it will be the highest points total by any top-flight team in Europe’s leading domestic leagues for a team not finishing top.

At present, that unenviable record is held by Real Madrid, who finished second in Spain with 96 points in 2010.

The team that beat them to the La Liga crown? Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona.

But this Liverpool season hasn’t just been about the numbers, the wins, the incessant back and forth in recent months with City at the top of the table.

It has been about a succession of defining moments, impressive individual displays and, above all, abiding memories.

While not as wild, for want of a better word, as last season, Liverpool have matured into a more rounded team, mean at the back, spiky and hard-working in midfield, and no less dangerous up front. And one packed with bags and bags of character.

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring a wonder goal against Chelsea earlier this month
Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring a wonder goal against Chelsea earlier this month (Image: PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

The one thing that has rang loudest of all, though, is unity. Unity among the squad, unity among the coaching staff, unity among the supporters, with all three working together.

Rarely has a Liverpool campaign felt so inclusive, a reflection of their manager’s personality. The fans, both at Anfield and on the road, have revelled in it.

Last season’s City team are rightly regarded as English football’s new benchmark, with Guardiola’s men this time around almost reaching those same giddy 100-point heights.

That Liverpool have kept pace with them is truly astonishing.