In the fight for Champions League qualification, Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp has urged them to keep applying pressure to rival teams Manchester United and Newcastle United.
And the Reds manager acknowledges that prior to his team’s remarkable run of form that has now guaranteed a spot in the Europa League for next season, he didn’t think a European berth was even conceivable.
Trent Alexander-Arnold added to a brace by Curtis Jones as Liverpool defeated relegation-threatened Leicester City 3-0 on Monday to earn their seventh straight Premier League victory.
Despite only having two matches left and having played one more than their close rivals, Klopp’s team has once again closed the gap to one point between fourth-placed Manchester United and third-placed Newcastle.
As a result, Liverpool will finish in the top six and will at the very least play in the Europa League next season, according to Klopp. I didn’t think it would happen six or seven weeks ago.
“At the time, we clearly lacked consistency, and the only way to put ourselves in the position we are in now was to win every game. It’s absurd, but that’s the circumstance we found ourselves in.
“We were aware going into the game that we would automatically qualify for the Europa League, which is fantastic given where we were coming from. The rest is out of our control, but we are aware that winning every game until the end of the season is necessary to have a chance.
“I’m pretty sure United and Newcastle aren’t watching us, confident that everything is going well. We have experienced similar circumstances, so you hope the opponent loses so that the pressure is lifted. And maintaining pressure is our responsibility. We must maintain their alertness.
“Once more, finishing in the top four is unlikely.”. If not, however, then this is already better than what we could have anticipated six to seven weeks ago.”
For the first time in a year, Liverpool has won three straight away league games, and they still have a chance to finish with more points than they did two years ago, when a strong finish allowed them to place third. This season, Liverpool has 71 points, which is more than they had then.
We are in a good moment, Klopp continued. In the seven games, we weren’t consistently convincing, but we did have some convincing moments. Currently, we have more work to do, especially when you consider that we will need to control the game for a longer period of time starting next season.
“Not every time we let up a little bit on the gas should result in a simple opportunity for the opposition, forcing Ali to make a save. The room for improvement is enormous.”