Liverpool’s 1-0 victory over Bournemouth on Monday night was fortuitous in the extreme, but Reds fans have witnessed enough destructively bad starts in recent years to know that it doesn’t matter how well you perform in August provided your points tally is being topped up regularly.
Six points after two games is as many as they had after five last term. It took them seven fixtures to reach that total in 2012/13, Brendan Rodgers’ debut season, and they were still stuck on six points eight matches in under Roy Hodgson in 2010/11, so winning really is everything right now.
Omen enthusiasts – and let’s be honest, who isn’t one? – will likely already be aware that there have been just two terms in the past 12 years in which they won on Premier League matchdays one and two: 2008/09 and 2013/14.
For those less steeped in their Anfield history, those were their two greatest campaigns of the Premier League era, in which they accumulated 86 and 84 points, finished second and were widely considered to have been jolly unlucky not to finally be crowned champions again.
The parallels to 2013/14 are particularly tasty because they began that campaign with a 1-0 win over Stoke and followed it a week later with another 1-0 success – grind-out results that masked the entertainment to come as they would score 101 league goals and concede a title-denying 50.
Neither punters not the bwin.com bookmakers appear convinced that Liverpool are ready to party like it’s, erm, two seasons ago though, with Rodgers’ resurgents remaining distant 20/1 fifth favourites in the 2015/16 Premier League winner betting.
Still, it means that new customers can use their £30 bet bonus upon signing up to put themselves in contention for a £600 party fund if they repeat 2013/14’s almost triumph, only this time without the “almost” part.
What’s that, you have one more question to ask? “What happened to the Reds in their third game of that memorable 2013/14 challenge?” Of course, if it was that memorable you wouldn’t need to ask, but the answer is that they beat a title rival, Manchester United, in week three. It was 1-0 naturally.
The class of 2015/16 have the chance to do likewise at Arsenal next Monday, and are 12/1 to cash in the opportunity by the very same lucky 1-0 margin.