Liverpool cemented their place in the Premier League top for on Sunday with an emphatic victory over Brighton & Hove Albion.
Needing a point at Anfield to secure their return to Europe’s premier club competition for the second consecutive year, Jurgen Klopp’s side were well up for the occasion and duly took care of the away side with a wholly comfortable 4-0 victory.
Goals have been a bit hard to come by in recent weeks but the fears that this would be a repeat of the last two matches were put to rest when Mo Salah opened the scoring midway through the first half. In ding so, the Egyptian forward became the first player to score 32 Premier League goals since the 20-team format came into being, his 44th in all competitions in what has been a remarkable season.
A bullet header from Dejan Lovren made it two five minutes before half time, and Dominic Solanke’s first goal for the club less than ten minutes after the restart meant that Liverpool now had one foot well and truly in the top four.
Andy Robertson also broke his duck late on to put the icing on the cake, 4-0 to Liverpool the final score and the Reds getting back to form ahead of the Champions League final. The result means that Liverpool have now gone the entire league season unbeaten at home (the only side in the four top divisions in England to do so), and have kept 17 clean sheets for the first time since the days of Rafa Benitez.
As it turned out, Liverpool could have lost against Brighton, as Chelsea suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Rafa and Newcastle at St. James’ Park. Despite needing a win, the Blues were simply not at the races and goals as Dwight Gayle and a double from Ayoze Perez have the Magpies a comfortable victory.
Klopp’s side finish fourth in the table for the second year running, with Tottenham claiming third after a somewhat ridiculous 5-4 victory over Leicester City at Wembley. England strikers Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy scored two each as Spurs had to come from 3-1 down at one point to earn the three points.
While that would have meant that Liverpool had to navigate to qualifiers last season, UEFA’s changes to the competition mean that the Reds are automatically in the group stage along with Spurs an the two Manchester clubs next year.