Andy Robertson is not expecting Liverpool to repeat their stroll towards the Premier League title 12 months on from steamrolling all before them in 2019-20.
The Reds had to be patient in their pursuit of a first top-flight crown in 30 years, with a coronavirus outbreak sending the sporting world into a state of lockdown at one stage.
Jurgen Klopp’s side did return to get over that line, collecting 99 points and finishing 18 clear of the chasing pack.
Replicating those efforts was always going to be tough, but the 2020-21 battle for domestic supremacy looks set to be more keenly contested than many could have predicted.
Liverpool, who returned to the summit with a 2-1 win over Tottenham on Wednesday are back in the hunt, but they have not been as dominant this time around, with injuries working against them.
Manchester City have also been well short of their best this term, while Arsenal have sunk into the bottom-half, allowing the likes of Chelsea, Spurs, Manchester United and Leicester into the mix.
Robertson believes an intriguing race is set to go down to the wire, with the Reds left-back telling his club’s official website after helping to edge out Jose Mourinho and Tottenham: “When you play against a big team, obviously top of the league – they were first going into this game – scoring a last-minute winner is big. All the lads felt it.
“But it’s only big if you use it in the right way and you try to kick on from it. We’re top of the league for tonight but there’s still a long, long way to go.
“But it’s a big win against a really, really good team. We created good chances, we dominated the ball first half; the second half was a bit more even.
“We’ve beaten a good team tonight and it’s always nice when you do that. But they’ll be there, they’ll come back again and we need to be at our best every game to stay top now because there’s a lot of teams trying to catch us, it’s a lot closer race this year and it will go the whole way.
“We just need to keep doing what we’re doing, focus on us and keep picking up three points as much as we can.”