Liverpool came from behind to record a final-day victory over nine-man Newcastle United but it was not enough for them to overhaul Manchester City, who were crowned champions with their victory over West Ham United.
Brendan Rodgers' men went into the final Premier League match of the season on Sunday knowing that a win, combined with rivals Manchester City losing at home to West Ham, would see Liverpool crowned champions to end a 24-year wait for the title.
As it transpired, City put the title out of their reach with a 2-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium, but Liverpool managed to sign off with a hard-earned victory.
Martin Skrtel, a regular source of goals in important matches for Rodgers' side throughout the campaign, put through his own net on this occasion, turning Yoan Gouffran's centre past Simon Mignolet in front of a shell-shocked Kop after 20 minutes.
It looked as though the hosts were going to be frustrated, until two almost identical goals from set-pieces midway through the second half from Daniel Agger and Daniel Sturridge changed the game.
The visitors then saw Shola Ameobi sent off for dissent in the aftermath of Sturridge's winner and Paul Dummett also dismissed late on as Newcastle's dismal second half of the season ended with an eighth defeat in the last 10 league outings.
The hosts worked an opening in the 11th minute as Raheem Sterling got in behind the Newcastle backline, but Mathieu Debuchy recovered smartly to poke the ball away from the forward in the nick of time.
Liverpool thought they had gone in front in the 18th minute when Luis Suarez took a quick free-kick, bending a superb finish over the head of Tim Krul from wide on the right, but referee Phil Dowd brought play back as he was talking to a Newcastle player when the set-piece was taken.
Newcastle stunned the Anfield faithful by taking the lead two minutes later as Skrtel sliced Gouffran's cross from the left inside the far post off his right shin.
Agger, recalled to the side in place of Mamadou Sakho, ought to have equalised in the 24th minute, but the Denmark international sent a free header straight at Krul after meeting a Steven Gerrard corner from the right.
Gouffran could have extended the visitors' lead soon afterwards when played clear on goal by Ameobi's accurate throughball, but Mignolet rushed from his line to make a fine one-on-one stop from the Frenchman.
Suarez was a constant threat, evading the attentions of three Newcastle defenders in the 34th minute, but the finish did not match the approach play as he sent a weak shot into the arms of Krul from the edge of the area.
Sturridge missed a chance five minutes before the break as Jordan Henderson, back after a three-match suspension, got to the byline and delivered a perfect cross for the England forward, who headed wide of goal unmarked from eight yards out.
After a quiet start to the second period, Liverpool turned things around with two goals in as many minutes shortly after the hour.
Agger first stretched to prod home a Gerrard free-kick at the back post before Sturridge tapped in at the far post after yet another fine delivery from the Liverpool captain.
Ameobi was sent off by Dowd, receiving two yellow cards seemingly for dissent as Newcastle prepared to kick off after Sturridge's strike.
Substitute Dummett, only introduced in the 81st minute, was then given his marching orders three minutes from time for a rash challenge on Suarez as Liverpool ended a fine campaign with a win, albeit ultimately just falling short of champions City.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers: "It's been an incredible journey this year, so to finish with 12 wins out of 14 is an incredible achievement by the players.
"We are a young team - it's been a wonderful campaign. We've made the supporters dream and that is our job to do that.
"We'll add to the group and we'll be ready to fight again next season, but now we've got the belief."
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew: "The second half of this season hasn't been good enough, and we need to accept that and make sure it doesn't happen again. But we were great in the first half, chasing European places. Our fans are frustrated, I apologise to them, and hopefully we'll put it right and come back after the summer."
|21 Dec 2014||v Liverpool (H)|
|26 Dec 2014||v Burnley (A)|
|29 Dec 2014||v Liverpool (H)|
|01 Jan 2015||v Liverpool (H)|
|10 Jan 2015||v Sunderland (A)|
|17 Jan 2015||v Aston Villa (A)|