Liverpool fans appeared to completely forget about the coronavirus pandemic as they celebrated in wild scenes at Anfield on Thursday.
Liverpool were crowned Premier League champions on Thursday, ending a 30-year wait for English soccer's top prize as Chelsea beat Manchester City 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.
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The Reds won the title with seven matches remaining - a record - as the result left them with an unassailable 23-point lead over City.
Liverpool were last champions of England when they won the old First Division title in 1989-90.
As they were nearing the title Liverpool urged fans to stay at home to celebrate, with the threat of coronavirus still alive and well in the UK.
However fans flocked to Liverpool’s home ground at Anfield on Thursday, sparking crazy scenes as their title was confirmed.
Thousands of revellers completely ignored social-distancing regulations in disturbing scenes that were widely condemned on social media.
“Well done Liverpool, truly deserved. However every single fan that’s gathering together to celebrate is an absolute disgrace,” one social media user wrote.
“Last time I checked the pandemic is not over and football is not more important than health/life.”
Another wrote: “There's a f***ing pandemic and they're broadcasting Liverpool fans getting together in groups partying and letting off flares and acting like it's just another day.”
“After weeks of going on about how football fans won't break social distancing and will behave.”
Liverpool fans ignore mayor’’s warning
Social distancing measures have been in place in Britain since March to slow the spread of the coronavirus, although the rules are due to be significantly relaxed from July 4.
Steve Rotheram, the Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, had previously issued a plea to fans not to gather together outside football grounds to celebrate.
“When it’s safe to, we’ll be able to come together and give this amazing season the celebration it deserves,” the lifelong Liverpool fan said.
Joe Blott, chairman of Liverpool fan group ‘Spirit of Shankly’, said they had been working with the football club, police and council to ensure the safety of supporters.
“Fans have been brilliant in heeding these joint messages,” he said.
“In doing so they are helping to protect the lives of fellow supporters, so that they can build on the magnificent fan-led community response to the pandemic at this time.”
Britain's official death toll from confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose by 149 to 43,230, the Department of Health said on Thursday.
Including deaths from suspected cases of the disease, the death toll is more than 54,000.
Liverpool’s incredible Premier League campaign
In a remarkable league campaign, Juergen Klopp's men won 28 of their 31 fixtures.
They can break City's Premier League record of 100 points for a campaign if they go on to win five of their remaining seven matches.
The Reds' title success is the 19th in the club's history, moving them one behind Manchester United's English record.
Kenny Dalglish, who won three league titles as Liverpool manager, told BT Sport: “I think back then if you'd have said it would take 30 years you'd have been arrested and sectioned, but sometimes things happen.
“The last two years since (manager) Jurgen (Klopp) came in, it has been very, very positive all the way. He's been fantastic and he epitomises everything that Liverpool stands for. He respects everyone at the club.
“It takes a fantastic dressing room to win things. You don't win anything with division, it takes solidarity, and Liverpool from top to bottom have been together.”
City's title defence ended when Christian Pulisic and Willian grabbed Chelsea, who are chasing a Champions league spot, a turbulent victory in west London.
Kevin De Bruyne whipped in a wonderful, equalising free-kick for City, but Willian coolly converted a penalty once Fernandinho was sent off for handball on a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) check.