Reds’ Champions League hopes are in their hands after comfortable victory at Turf Moor
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has described Wednesday’s victory over Burnley as a ‘semi-final’ in their quest for Champions League football and can’t wait for his team to try to finish the job in their ‘final’ against Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Goals from Roberto Firmino, Nat Phillips and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain earned the Reds all three points against the Clarets and put them in the top four for the first time since February.
That means winning in front of 10,000 home fans at Anfield on the final day will almost certainly secure a Champions League spot next season.
What did Klopp say?
Speaking after the match at Turf Moor, Klopp said Sky Sports: “It was a semi-final. We had to win the semi-final and we did it. Nothing is decided yet but we improved our position and we have the final. That’s what we needed. That’s what we deserve because it was a top performance.
“You can’t give Burnley a chance because of the way they play. They wanted to go for our center-backs, but our boys did really well.
“We knew that before the game it would be incredibly difficult – they had around 3,500 people who weren’t on our side. The atmosphere in football is huge.
“I thought the boys were doing really well with it. They didn’t distract themselves – they tried to use it because the noise is nice. We played a lot of good football stuff.”
“You can’t go to Burnley and hope to win 3-0. It’s usually incredibly tight. “
Despite his enthusiasm, Klopp also called for caution and pointed out that there was still work to be done on Sunday.
“We have to make sure that we recover quickly,” he added. “We have a thin squad in some positions. We have to wrap them in cotton. I can’t wait for the 10.00 fans at Anfield. Nothing is decided. – The palaces are strong.”
The big picture
When they slipped out of the top four in February, Liverpool were in the middle of a losing sixth game at Anfield and hopes of defending their title were in tatters.
However, since a 1-0 home loss to Fulham in early March, Klopp’s side have won seven and drawn in nine games to return to contention for the Champions League and end that. which has at times been a tough season on a high.
They enter the last level of the game in points with Leicester, fifth, but with a better goal difference of four.
A win over Palace would therefore almost certainly be enough, unless the Foxes beat Tottenham by a big margin in their last game of the season.