Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said it was insane that his team was so close to qualifying for the Champions League after a poor run of form at the start of the year seemed to have sunk their chances.
The Reds returned to the top four for the first time since February thanks to goals from Roberto Firmino, a career first for back-up central defender Nat Phillips, and Alex Oxlade-first Chamberlain’s of the season.
They have a four-goal advantage over Leicester, and third place is still up for grabs if Chelsea, who are a point ahead of them, falters at Aston Villa and they beat Crystal Palace.
🗣 "It's what we deserved today, it was a top top performance."— Football Daily (@footballdaily) May 19, 2021
Jurgen Klopp's post-match reaction to Liverpool's important win over Burnley pic.twitter.com/hGNYROMiAR
It’s a remarkable turnaround from two months ago, when they appeared to be out of reach of any European football.
“I could not be happier. Klopp told Sky Sports, “We didn’t take these things for granted.”
“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 or 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. It looks like the timing is right but it is not done yet. When you win the semi-final you go to a final and that’s where we are. We will give our absolute everything.”
It wasn’t the most polished performance, but at this point in the season, getting a fourth consecutive win – the first time this season – was all that mattered.
“Really mature performance. It was not a world-class start; at the beginning we were nervous with our passing,” he added. “But after 15 minutes we found our feet back and we played some really good football.
“We missed the two biggest chances of the game at the beginning but we scored a wonderful goal, the second goal from Nat was outstanding skill from Sadio and a great header and the third goal was Oxlade at his best.
“The way Burnley went for our centre-halves with the way they played it is so tricky to defend and the boys did really well. We needed each single performance on the pitch.”