A 4-2 win away at Old Trafford, handing a major boost to their chances of finishing in the top four. It wasn’t a bad Thursday night for Liverpool. It was also, potentially, a victory that could prevent them from playing on Thursday nights for the foreseeable future.
In their race for Champions League football, the Reds are now four points behind Chelsea in fourth and six points behind Leicester in third, with a game in hand on both.
Crucially, Chelsea play Leicester next week, meaning one of, if not both, will drop points heading into the final game of the season, putting Liverpool’s chances of finishing in the top four effectively in their hands.
When asked if anything will change because of this, Jurgen Klopp said: “No, we always play to win the game, you just haven’t seen that much this season!
“We don’t have to change our approach. The only thing we can do to get into the Champions League is win all of our games.
“The only thing that changed [on Wednesday] night [after Chelsea’s defeat to Arsenal], is that it will be. That was not the case before.”
But perhaps there should be some caution heading into their final three games.
Whilst Leicester and Chelsea fans may look enviously at the Reds’ final three fixtures – already-relegated West Brom, and two teams with nothing to play for: Burnley and Crystal Palace – Klopp will know that it will be no walk in the park, especially when you look at his record against those three sides since taking over at Anfield.
Of the eight games Klopp has faced Sunday’s opponents, West Brom, they have only recorded two wins, drawing five and losing once.
They have also failed to beat them in any of their last four games against them, including a 1-1 draw at Anfield earlier this season.
Liverpool’s record under Klopp against Burnley is slightly better reading, with five wins, two draws and two losses – all against current boss Sean Dyche.
But, as well as the Clarets’ recent upturn in form which has seen them score seven goals in their last three games, their 1-0 win on Merseyside in January will be something that could certainly play on the Liverpool player’s minds ahead of Wednesday night.
Their final game of the season is against Crystal Palace, who they have beaten nine times since Klopp took over, losing twice.
“I know for supporters, journalists all these kind of things it means, ‘Yes, they won now against United, now they go to West Brom…’ and stuff like this, but we are not like this, thank God,” Klopp said after their 4-2 victory on Thursday.
“West Brom plays an exceptional second half of the season, obviously. It was tough for them, it was really close and they played some really good football.”
And Klopp admits that West Brom could do cause them serious problems now they are free from the pressure of needing Premier League points.
“They are now completely free of pressure so that can lead to anything,” said the Reds boss.
“So, we take it game by game. Tonight, we were good enough to win it and then on Sunday if we would be good enough to win the next one, that would be really cool as well.”