Liverpool’s hopes of Champions League qualification were handed an unlikely boost by Everton‘s 5-1 thrashing of Brighton.
The Reds made it six wins from six with a 1-0 win over Brentford on Saturday, keeping slim hopes of a topfour finish alive ahead of the weekend’s remaining fixtures.
Brighton had three games in hand on Liverpool heading into their clash with Everton, and wins in all three would have been enough to lift the Seagulls above the Reds and into fifth spot.
A shock 5-1 thumping from Liverpool’s local rivals on the south coast means that Liverpool will end the campaign above Brighton, should they go on to win their remaining three fixtures.
It was a result with implications at both ends of the table as it lifted the Toffees out of the relegation zone and landed a blow on Brighton‘s ambitions to surpass Liverpool.
Brighton‘s maximum points total for the season now stands at 70, down from the 73 that could have been taken prior to the result.
Wins against Leicester, Aston Villa and Southampton would see the Reds end the campaign on 71 points, but it remains to be seen whether that will be enough to secure Champions League football for 2023/24.
Liverpool will still need to overtake either Man United or Newcastle if they are to compete in Europe’s elite club competition for a seventh consecutive season.
The Magpies currently sit in third having played a game fewer than the Reds and amassed three points more.
Their remaining fixtures include trips to Leeds and Chelsea, along with home games against Brighton and Leicester.
Man United will also be in Jurgen Klopp‘s sights, holding just a one-point advantage over Liverpool with a game in hand following their defeat to West Ham on Sunday.
Erik ten Hag’s team have home games against Wolves, Chelsea and Fulham still to come, as well as a trip to Bournemouth.
Liverpool’s European fate remains in the hands of other sides as the season nears its conclusion, but the manager will be hoping that his team can uphold their side of the bargain and keep the rivals honest.
Leicester are up next for the Reds on Monday night, when Klopp and his players will be looking to extend their winning run to seven games in a late push for fourth spot.