Liverpool overtake Burnley to enter top four, West Ham boost European dreams
Liverpool staged a dramatic final day battle to qualify for the Champions League with a vital 3-0 victory at Burnley, while Tottenham’s bid to reach the Europa League suffered a heavy blow in a 2 loss -1 against Aston Villa on Wednesday.
Jurgen Klopp’s side took fourth place in the Premier League thanks to goals from Roberto Firmino, Nathaniel Phillips and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Liverpool are above Leicester, fifth, on goal difference, the Reds at +24 and the Foxes at +20.
If Liverpool win their last home game against Crystal Palace on Sunday, they are set to finish in the top four and save a tough campaign that saw them hand over the title to Manchester City.
Leicester will host Tottenham on Sunday, while third-placed Chelsea, one point above Liverpool, travel to Aston Villa.
Firmino put Liverpool on track for their fourth straight win with a clinical finish from the center of Andy Robertson in the 43rd minute.
Phillips scored the second goal in the 52nd minute with a header from Sadio Mane’s center for his first goal for the club.
Oxlade-Chamberlain struck in third place for Liverpool in the 88th minute.
“We had to win the ‘semi-final’ and we did it. Nothing is decided yet but we have improved our position and we have the final, ”said Klopp.
“This is what we needed. That’s what we deserve because it was a top performance.
Fifth and sixth places secure a place in the Europa League next season, while seventh place leads to play-offs for the new Europa League.
Tottenham will have to wait until their last game of the season to discover their European destiny.
A second loss in their last three games left them in seventh place, tied on points with Everton, eighth, and three points behind West Ham, sixth.
They will have to beat Leicester and hope that West Ham lose to Southampton to make their London rivals lose the goal difference.
Harry Kane was named to Tottenham’s starting lineup just days after telling the club he wanted to leave.
The England captain is eager to move on as he pursues the first trophies of his career, with Manchester City, Manchester United and Paris Saint Germain among clubs linked to the striker.
Tottenham fans among the 10,000 spectators urged Kane to stay as they chanted ‘Harry Kane, he’s one of us’ before kick-off.
Euro Hammers Eye Sleeper
Tottenham’s Steven Bergwijn was making his first league start since February and the Dutch winger celebrated his comeback with a superb strike in the eighth minute.
But Tottenham’s lead lasted just 12 minutes as Sergio Reguilon cut Marvelous Nakamba’s cross into his own net.
Villa punished the more sloppy Reguilon by defending in the 39th minute when Bertrand Traore pressured the defender to surrender, allowing Ollie Watkins to shoot point blank.
Tottenham were booed full time, but Kane applauded fans on all sides of the stadium in a gesture that may have served as a farewell.
“He matters a lot. He’s a Tottenham player, ”interim boss Ryan Mason said.
“I am very disappointed with the result. This was not how we wanted to end the season in front of our fans.
West Ham are on track to qualify for the Europa League after a 3-1 win at relegated West Bromwich Albion.
The Hammers got off to a bad start as Declan Rice hit the post with a third-minute penalty before Matheus Pereira’s corner was sent back into his own net by Tomas Soucek in the 27th minute.
But Soucek equalized in the first half stoppage time, clearing the way for Angelo Ogbonna and Michail Antonio to score in the final eight minutes.
David Moyes’ side know that a draw in their last game against Southampton will guarantee European football.
After the game, West Brom boss Sam Allardyce confirmed he would be leaving at the end of the season.
Everton remain in the race for the Europa Conference League after Richarlison’s 48th-minute header sealed a 1-0 win over Wolves.
Arsenal won 3-1 at Crystal Palace and could still qualify for the Europa Conference League as they fight to avoid missing European football for the first time since 1995-96.
Nicolas Pepe’s volley in the 35th minute put Arsenal ahead before Christian Benteke equalized in the 62nd minute.
Arsenal striker Gabriel Martinelli scored in the stoppage time before Pepe struck again with practically the last kick.
With their season finale against Brighton coming up, ninth-placed Arsenal are one point behind Tottenham and Everton.
Newcastle beat relegated Sheffield United 1-0 thanks to a header from Joe Willock just before half-time.