We don’t have to play Europa next season!!
Liverpool confirmed their 4th place finish on the final day of the season as they comfortably beat Brighton and Hove Albion 4-0 on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Anfield. Goals from Mohamed Salah, Dejan Lovren, Dominic Solanke (!) and Andrew Robertson (!!) helped Liverpool maintain their unbeaten record at home in the league this season, making us the only club in the top 4 English leagues to achieve such a feat.
There were always nerves going in to this game. How could there not be? We hadn’t won in 3 Premier League games before this (two of those being against West Brom and Stoke!) and we had to at least get a draw to guarantee Champions League football for next season.
The game started off in one of those “it’s gonna be one of those” kind of moods when Liverpool had every single ounce of possession and two denied penalties that absolutely should have been penalties as Shane Duffy first handled the ball in the area then brought down Mo Salah as he weaved his way across the box. Referee Kevin Friend, despite looking straight at both incidents, declined to give anything to the Reds. Our search for an Anfield penalty goes on.
Turns out we didn’t really need the ref’s help to score goals however as, after a luck deflection in and around the box, Mo Salah picked up the ball and finished with his left foot (of course) into the bottom right corner. It was a historical goal. It makes Salah the highest scoring player ever in a Premier League season with 32 goals, beating the record previously jointly held by Alan Shearer, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez. It also helped secure the Premier League Golden Boot for the Egyptian as he beat Harry Kane to the accolade by two goals. But most importantly it settled the Liverpool nerves (as did Chelsea going 1-0 down to Rafa’s Newcastle).
The second goal came courtesy of Dejan Lovren as he rose to meet a beautiful Robertson cross and power a header past Matthew Ryan in goal to make it 2-0 to the Reds. 2nd half and Liverpool continued to dominate. It was a first Liverpool goal for Dominic Solanke as he took the ball through after some brilliant work from Salah and powered a fierce shot into the top of the net. It was almost Divock Origi-esque. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not but the Englishman probably deserved it after a good performance overall. 3-0 to Liverpool
The 4th was probably everyone’s favourite however as, in the 85th minute, the ball fell kindly in the penalty area for one Andrew Robertson. The Scotsman, one of our best players this season, made no mistake as he powered it home for his first goal for Liverpool. No one deserved that moment more than he did. I think I celebrated that goal as much as I did Salah’s. Andy Robertson, fan favourite.
Today has just been one big relief for me. I was terrified we’d be playing Europa football next season and I don’t think I could have dealt with that. But no. Champions League football once more, it’s going to be an exciting summer whatever happens in Kyiv. Now all of us can enjoy a few weeks to build up the excitement before our biggest game in a decade. Onwards Reds! Allez Allez Alleeeez