Liverpool’s bid for a top four finish was boosted by a last-gasp win over Aston Villa on Saturday, with Trent Alexander-Arnold’s stoppage time effort keeping their Champions League qualification hopes alive.
The season is nearing its final furlong and Liverpool sit just outside the top four in fifth, though Jurgen Klopp’s men did briefly occupy fourth spot for a mere matter of hours before Chelsea’s demolition job away at Crystal Palace.
Chelsea returned to the top four after running riot at Selhurst Park, putting four past a Crystal Palace side who offered very little outside of a Christian Benteke consolation goal.
Sky Pundit and Liverpool legend Graeme Souness has stressed that Liverpool have no easy games as they aim to chase Chelsea and dislodge them from the Champions League spots.
“I think it can go all the way down to Everton,” he said on Sky Sports. “Everton won’t be talking about Champions League places publicly, but privately they’ll be thinking they’ve got a chance with games in-hand.
“If you had put this graphic up (Liverpool’s fixtures) this time last year, you’d say: ‘Oh, what a great run-in for Liverpool’, but you can’t say that this time around.
“They’ve shown a vulnerability which didn’t exist before this year, so I wouldn’t go out on a limb to say that’s a formality that they’ll finish in the top four with those games left.
“You can say that Crystal Palace last game of the season, they’ll have nothing to play for, Burnley will be the same. West Brom, probably nothing to play for, same with Southampton. Manchester United is always a bigger game, so that’s a different one, Newcastle could need something, Leeds will have nothing to play for. So, there’s no obviously easy games there, for me.”
Just nine points separate third from eighth position, currently held by Liverpool’s local rivals Everton who have two games in hand over the majority of their competition.
Chelsea have looked a side reborn under Thomas Tuchel, and will fancy themselves to get over the line and secure yet another season of Champions League football.