Leicester 0-3 Liverpool: Jurgen Klopp wants Reds to keep pressure on in Champions League chase

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has outlined the job that his side needs to do in order to keep their audacious Champions League qualification hopes alive.

The Reds defeated relegation-threatened Leicester City 3-0 on Monday night. Before the break, a first-half brace from Curtis Jones gave Liverpool breathing space. During the second half, a brilliant Trent Alexander-Arnold strike sealed a comfortable win.

The Merseyside club have thus secured European qualification for 2023/24 thanks to this victory. Which competition they end up in remains to be seen.

Speaking after the match (via Hayters TV), the Liverpool boss expressed his surprise at the club’s late-season turnaround.

“Six-seven weeks ago, I didn’t believe that it can happen,” said Klopp on qualifying for Europe. “What we lacked at that time was obviously consistency, and there was only one chance for us to get in this situation – winning pretty much all the games. And that’s what we’ve had to do.

“It’s crazy, but that’s the situation we were in. We knew that before the game if we win, we are qualified for the Europa League, which is absolutely great from where we came from.”

Liverpool can now set their sights on reaching the Champions League once more.

Jurgen Klopp on Liverpool’s Champions League qualification chances

The Reds have overturned a significant points deficit to be within touching distance of the top four. However, they still need results to go in their favour to have any hope of sneaking into next season’s UCL.  

“All the rest is not in our hands,” stated the Liverpool manager. “But we know we have to win all the games until the end of the season to have a chance.

“Our job is to keep the pressure [on Man United and Newcastle], but again it’s not likely. But if not, then this is already better than we could have expected six or seven weeks ago.”

So, Champions League football may be a long shot for Jurgen Klopp and his side, but it’s not out of the question.

The race for the top four: each team’s remaining games

Unfortunately for Liverpool, the two sides ahead of them in the division have a game in hand. Both Newcastle (third) and Man United (fourth) have played a game less than the Reds.

Should they win their game in reserve, then both clubs will be four points ahead of Liverpool.

Similarly, behind the Reds, Brighton have two more fixtures than Liverpool left to play. They are seven points behind, though, meaning that Jurgen Klopp’s side holds an advantage for fifth place.

What may make the difference in the race for the Champions League is hitting form at the right time. Newcastle have won three of their last five games but have dropped points in their last two matches. Man United have also stuttered, taking a victory in just two of their last five.

In contrast, Liverpool have been in red-hot form. They have won their last seven league games – a run that has allowed them to even be close to the top four. Their last two matches of the season see them host Aston Villa before travelling to already-relegated Southampton.

For Newcastle, their three games include back-to-back home stands vs Brighton and Leicester. The Magpies then visit Stamford Bridge to play Chelsea on the final day.

Manchester United also play Chelsea, but on Matchweek 37. Before this, the Red Devils have a trip to Bournemouth. They host Fulham to see out the season, after which an FA Cup final awaits.

This race for the top four promises to go down to the wire. Regardless of the outcome, Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool have done well to even have a chance of reaching the Champions League given the deficit they faced.

UCL chasers standings (as of 16/05/2023)

3: Newcastle – 66pts
4: Man United – 66pts
5: Liverpool – 65pts
6: Brighton – 58pts

Featured image credit: Getty