Monday, June 17, 2024
HomePremier LeagueKlopp says top four not 'likely' as Liverpool maintain pressure with 'nearly...

Klopp says top four not ‘likely’ as Liverpool maintain pressure with ‘nearly perfect’ display

Liverpool maintained the pressure on the sides above them with a comfortable 3-0 win over a relegation-threatened Leicester City.

Liverpool came into the game knowing that a place in next season’s Champions League was out of their hands, with Manchester United and Newcastle both four points clear ahead of the final run-in, while Leicester are staring down the relegation barrel following a season of struggle.

 

After an even opening, Liverpool took the lead in the 33rd minute, a long ball upfield from Alisson picking out the run of Luis Diaz down the left, before it was moved across to the right to Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian clipped a delicious ball over the Foxes’ defence to pick out the run of Curtis Jones from deep before the academy graduate did well to steer it past Daniel Iversen with a first-time finish.

Three minutes later and the Reds doubled their advantage, and once again it was Salah who laid the ball into the advanced Jones, the midfielder taking a lovely touch to turn and set himself before he lashed past the Danish goalkeeper.

It was almost three straight from the kick-off as Liverpool caught the Foxes in possession, only for Cody Gakpo’s effort to be fired straight at the ‘keeper, as boos rang out around the King Power stadium.

Despite the peril they face, Leicester were unable to muster a reaction, and with 20 minutes to play, the Reds made it 3-0 in sensational style. Mo Salah rolled his studs over a Liverpool free-kick to alter the angle, before Trent Alexander-Arnold thundered home a stunning strike from 25 yards.

The win means Liverpool have now won seven games on the spin as they look to make a late assault on the top four places, somewhere they haven’t been all season, and speaking after the game, Jurgen Klopp was delighted with how his side played for the majority of the game.

“We had to figure out a little bit how we can build up the game for 15 minutes or so,” he told BBC Sport. “I really like what we did after that.

“Incredible goals. The second goal was super. It was a nearly perfect game. Between 55 and 75 it was a bit more open than I’d like.

Next up for Liverpool is a home game against an in-form Aston Villa, and the German was full of praise for his opposite number next weekend.

“Unai [Emery] is doing a heck of a job at Aston Villa. We have to make sure we’re ready.”

Liverpool are now unbeaten in their last nine Premier League games and are relying on slip-ups from either Newcastle or Man Utd in their remaining fixtures in a bid to secure a top four finish.

Klopp – perhaps playing some mind games – said it was unlikely his side will qualify for the Champions League, but said they have to keep on pushing to take advantage of any potential slip-ups.

“It’s all we can do. I don’t think it’s likely [finishing in the top four] when you see how they play, they have so much quality. It would be a real shame if they slip and we’re not there. So we have to do our job.

“I think we have qualified for European football which six weeks ago wasn’t in sight. I wouldn’t have believed it [that they’d be in the Champions League mix]. We didn’t show this consistency.”

Read – Premier League Awards: Brilliant Brighton, Gundogan’s genius

Read Also – Premier League Team of the Week – Matchday 36

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