LIVERPOOL, June 27: The sun had just set over Anfield � and on a 30-year wait to be champions of England again � when the fireworks started to explode into the twilight.
A signal went out across Merseyside. The drought was finally over for Liverpool.
At first there were just a dozen supporters who watching on phones and listening on radios outside this hallowed stadium.
They were soon surrounded by a sea of thousands snaking from the entrance to the Kop past the Albert Pub to the Hillsborough memorial.
And as darkness eventually engulfed Liverpool�s home on this mid-summer�s evening, a red haze of smoke began to light the skies.
Waving flares and flags, Liverpool�s faithful found a way to share this moment together on Thursday, even in a pandemic. It�s hard to stay apart when a three-decade mission has been accomplished, even though the crowning moment came without Liverpool players being on the field.
The squad had to watch on television, just like the fans, as second-place Manchester City lost 2-1 at Chelsea and left Liverpool 23 points in front. With seven games to go, Liverpool cannot be caught.
�This is bliss,� 61-year-old fan Francis Murphy said as fans clambered onto the Main Stand behind him.
�I have supported them all my life and to go 30 years without winning the league really hurts. But we are back, and Liverpool will stay back.�
Jurgen Klopp, the German manager who has restored a winning mentality to Liverpool with his brand of heavy metal football, already led the club to its sixth European club title last year.
�If I tried to start talking about it again I will start crying again and that doesn�t work really well,� Klopp said.
�I am completely overwhelmed. I don�t know, it�s a mix of everything. I am relieved, I am happy, I am proud.�
The twice-weekly COVID-19 testing that allowed the Premier League to resume last week after a 100-day suspension enabled Klopp to join his squad and staff for a viewing of the game from Stamford Bridge.
�We thought maybe not compulsory,� Klopp said. �I know who will stay at home and watch it alone will regret it for the rest of his life. So we came here together. It is our bubble.�
Liverpool became England�s earliest and latest champion: clinched with the most games to spare and by the latest calendar date.
This title had hardly been in doubt since December. A fluid, attacking style of play earned 28 wins and two draws in 31 games with a loss at Watford. � AP