Jürgen Klopp said it was “insane” that Liverpool are one win from securing Champions League qualification after leap-frogging Leicester into fourth place with victory at Burnley.
Liverpool’s seventh win in nine unbeaten Premier League games elevated them into the top four with one game to play and victory over Crystal Palace at Anfield on Sunday, in what will be Roy Hodgson’s final top-flight game, should secure Champions League football. Klopp’s side have a goal difference of plus four over Leicester, who face missing out on the final day for the second season in succession.
“I couldn’t be more pleased,” the Liverpool manager said. “It is not that we took these things for granted. This season has been incredibly tough and February was the last time we were in the top four and we didn’t win a lot of games since then. In the last eight, 10 games, I don’t know how many, we are back on track. If we win on Sunday then we are probably qualified for the Champions League. It’s insane that we came this close but we are not through yet. When you win the semi-final you go to a final and that’s where we are. We will give our absolute everything.”
Nat Phillips scored his first Liverpool goal and produced a superb goal-line clearance to preserve the clean sheet. Klopp admitted: “I love the boy, he knows that, but let’s see if we make it or not and talk about him after Crystal Palace. When the season is finished I could write a book about Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams, but we are not there yet. Let them stay focused and recover and then we can talk about them. I promise you I will talk about them for an hour after that.”
Sean Dyche claimed Liverpool are “purring” going into the final game and their quality in front of goal made the difference at Turf Moor.
The Burnley manager, who confirmed Ashley Barnes was arrested recently for drink driving, said: “They are a quality side and are purring at the moment. They did take their chances clinically.
“We matched them pretty well overall, we have created chances, we have had more of the ball than we have had ever against Liverpool. But there is a gap: they had three shots on target and scored three. We had some great moments tonight which we should create more from and do better.”