June 26 (Reuters) - Thousands of Liverpool fans celebrated their Premier League title win outside the club's Anfield Stadium on Thursday as their 30 year wait for the league crown finally came to an end.
Juergen Klopp's side secured the title after second-placed Manchester City lost 2-1 to Chelsea in London, meaning the Merseyside club could not be caught with a 23 point lead over City with seven games remaining.
Despite social distancing rules and restrictions on public gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Liverpool supporters flocked to Anfield to show their joy at the team's success.
Fans turned the sky red with flares and fireworks and sang the club's famous songs and chants, including the team's anthem "You'll Never Walk Alone".
Even as clocks ticked past midnight, crowds outside Anfield were still swelling, with fans scaling the walls of the stadium.
All Premier League games since the restart have been held behind closed doors, meaning fans were not at the stadium when Liverpool beat Crystal Palace 4-0 on Wednesday.
Merseyside Police Assistant Chief Constable Rob Carden said most fans had abided by social distancing regulations and chose to mark the event safely.
"Unfortunately... not everyone adhered to the regulations in place," he added.
"In the days ahead, we urge supporters to do the right thing and celebrate safely with members of your household and in your social bubble."
The celebrations took over the city centre, with the Cunard Building, by the Pier Head, lit up in red for the night.
Elsewhere, St Luke's Church, known locally as the bombed-out church, became a focal point for fans to congregate, let off fireworks and go through their repertoire of songs.
Cars were kept out of the area by police but supporters around the city blared their horns in jubilation.
"We have all waited so long, everyone who has been involved in the club, they had been desperate to bring the title home for the supporters," former Liverpool captain Jamie Carragher, who sprayed a bottle of champagne on air, told Sky Sports. "You see the scenes tonight."
Liverpool players gathered at a local hotel and after watching the broadcast of the game from Stamford Bridge celebrated among themselves, away from the supporters.
"We won't tell you the exact location but we are all in a hotel together as a team," said full back Andy Robertson.
"We thought something hopefully special was going to happen and that's how it turned out."