Sadio Mane’s double took Liverpool to third place in the standings on Sunday with a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace, ensuring that a mixed campaign ended on a high. The three points, coupled with Chelsea’s 2-1 loss at Aston Villa, meant Klopp’s team leapfrogged Thomas Tuchel’s side in the final standings and secured Champions League qualification.
Despite a difficult season defending their Premier League title due to a number of long-term injuries to key players, Liverpool’s 10-game unbeaten run to finish the campaign saw them finish third behind Manchester City and Manchester United. Klopp’s side won eight of their final 10 league matches of the season to salvage Champions League qualification from the campaign.
“Outstanding, best I could’ve dreamt of. We wanted this feeling, this game, this atmosphere.” Klopp exclaimed
Jurgen Klopp admitted that he was astounded by Liverpool’s late run of Premier League form which saw the Reds clinch a Champions League berth on the very last day of the season.
“Perfect. It was windy like crazy. It’s not good for football.‘ Klopp told Sky Sports.
“Outstanding, best I could’ve dreamt of – we wanted this feeling, this game, this atmosphere. We found a way into the game, scored a great goal. Do you take more risk, or control even more? The second goal was so helpful. I didn’t know about other matches.“
“I’m so proud of what they’ve done the last 10 or 15 games and the reaction of the team in bad times. Eight wins out of 10, two draws, that’s impressive. Energy makes all the difference and we got a lot of energy from outside [the fans]. Finishing the season in third is incredible. I can’t believe it. Credit to the boys, I can’t believe how it worked out in the last few weeks,” said Klopp.
“Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips are both cut up and stitched, Rhys hasn’t trained for three days. It was not our year for the championship. I’m really happy with third place.”
“Gini Wijnaldum leaving the club and we all love him to bits. We will miss him so much, with football it’s normal that people leave, but I will miss him so much.” told Klopp when asked about Giorginio Wijnaldum’s departure.
Jurgen Klopp was in no mood to reflect on the disappointing moments of Liverpool’s season as the Reds overcame injuries and poor form to secure a third-place finish in the Premier League.
“I don’t want to pick one – it will be unfair to all the other [expletive] moments,”
“I have a holiday – it feels like the season was two years long. In three weeks I can’t wait for the pre-season again.” Klopp told.
While on the surface third place might seem like a consolation prize for last year’s runaway champions, at one point in the season Liverpool feared a far more modest finish to their defense. A hideous run of injuries, particularly in defense where the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Jordan Henderson were all ruled out with serious physical problems, put a big dent in their Premier League aspirations.
If that wasn’t enough, the lack of fans crippled the Reds’ intensity. After a 1-0 defeat to Burnley at Anfield ended their 68-match unbeaten run at Anfield, they lost five more in a row at home. But they responded with eight wins and two draws in their last 10 league games to climb back up into contention, finally securing Champions League qualification in the last game week by finishing third at Leicester City’s expense.