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Liverpool in a position of strength
Liverpool secured a vital 3-0 Premier League win at Burnley on Wednesday to boost its Champions League hopes for next season.
Liverpool will head into Sunday’s final round back in the top-four, if only on goal difference, as last season’s champion looks to clinch qualification for the elite continental competition. With two qualifying spots up for grabs to join Manchester City and Manchester United, Chelsea is third on 67 points, one more than both Liverpool and fifth-placed Leicester City.
Liverpool has a superior goal difference to Leicester of four, so any kind of victory over Crystal Palace should be enough for Jurgen Klopp’s team to finish in the top-four. Leicester closes the season at home to Tottenham Hotspur and will need to pile up the goals if Chelsea and Liverpool win. Chelsea is away to Aston Villa in its last game.
Three days after goalkeeper Alisson’s winner at West Bromwich Albion, it was another Brazil international Roberto Firmino who put Liverpool ahead at Turf Moor. The striker converted a cross from left-back Andrew Robertson in the 43rd minute.
Nat Phillips, a reserve centre-back filling in admirably amid a glut of injuries in that position, scored the second goal with a header from Sadio Mane’s cross in the 52nd minute. Substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain added a third goal in the 88th minute.
The other thing to be decided on the final day of the season will be which teams qualify for UEFA’s minor European competitions, the Europa League and the newly created Europa Conference League. West Ham United is in a good position to finish sixth and qualify for the Europa League after beating the already relegated West Brom 3-1.
Seventh-placed Tottenham lost 2-1 to Aston Villa, in what could be striker Harry Kane’s final home game for the club. Spurs is now tied on points with Everton, which beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 at home. Arsenal is a point further back in ninth after a 3-1 win at Crystal Palace. Newcastle United won 1-0 at home to Sheffield United in Wednesday’s other game.
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