Liverpool suffered a 1-0 defeat at Chelsea on Sunday to leave a top-four finish hanging on the final day of the season.
The Reds hoped to hold Chelsea at bay and in so doing maintain a gap down to fifth, but just three points separate the sides now—and the blues have a game in hand.
A final-day victory at Anfield will be enough for Liverpool though, with their goal difference of +42 being markedly better than Chelsea‘s +27.
Tiredness and a lack of rotation options played a part at Stamford Bridge, with Jurgen Klopp‘s team failing to create too many chances.
Olivier Giroud’s header condemned them to defeat, despite plenty of possession and a late flurry of half-chances.
Centre-back Dejan Lovren remains optimistic, however, that Liverpool can see out the job and beat Brighton next weekend, drawing on their experiences last year when they had to beat Middlesbrough to make the top four.
The Croatian told Liverpoolfc.com that there will be no complacency, but that he believed a win would be secured.
It’s a similar [situation]. We know what we can expect,
It will definitely be tough. Brighton showed in their previous game against Manchester United that they can win against big teams. But I’m confident we can do it.
To be honest, we had a quite good game, we played our football how we wanted and how we expected.
With the deep defending, it was quite difficult. We had a couple of chances and didn’t score; they had this one header and that’s it, one goal. It should be usually even a point but unfortunately we didn’t take our chances like we usually do.
But it’s still in our hands. The next game will definitely be a tough game but I’m confident we can manage to win it.
His central defensive partner Virgil van Dijk was in similarly bullish mood.
The Reds essentially have two must-win games left to focus on this season, which could yet turn out to be one which lives long in the memory.
Van Dijk labelled both games, Brighton and Real Madrid, a pair of finals.