Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp felt his side’s victory against Burnley was like winning “a semifinal” as they get ready for Sunday’s “final” against Crystal Palace in the Premier League as they have UEFA Champions League qualification to secure.
Liverpool’s incredible win at West Bromwich Albion on Sunday kept their Champions League hopes alive and at Turf Moor, they made sure that Sunday’s efforts were not in vain as a 3-0 victory sees Liverpool almost there in the race for UEFA Champions League places.
Roberto Firmino gave the Reds the lead in the 43rd minute to turn the game Liverpool’s way. Nathaniel Phillips bagged his first goal for Liverpool early in the 2nd half and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain put the result beyond doubt with a drive that ensured a 3-0 away victory.
The Reds have moved into 4th place, level on points with fifth-placed Leicester City but ahead on goal difference.
Klopp’s side host Crystal Palace in Roy Hodgson’s last game in charge of the Eagles on the final day of this season’s Premier League, with 10,000 fans inside Anfield.
The Foxes have a tough home game against Tottenham Hotspur while Chelsea, who are one point ahead of both, face a tricky Aston Villa side.
“Today was a semifinal,” Klopp told Sky Sports. “We had to win the semifinal and we did.
“Nothing is decided yet but we improved our position and we have the final. That’s what we needed. It’s what we deserve because this was a top performance.
“Now we have to make sure we recover quickly. We have a thin squad in some positions. We have to wrap them in cotton wool.
“I can’t wait for the 10,00 fans at Anfield. Nothing is decided – Palace are strong.”
“It never is easy,” Klopp told BBC Sport. “I can’t remember an easy game against Burnley.
“What a job Sean Dyche is doing here. The way they play is so tricky to defend against. They are smart.
“Apart from a nervy start passing-wise, we had to adapt to the atmosphere in the stadium, but then we played really good football.”
Liverpool are now into the top four for the first time since February thanks to a run of four straight wins, which is their longest winning streak of this campaign.
One last win will be enough unless Leicester run riot against Tottenham and significantly improve their goal difference, which is highly unlikely.