Liverpool secured Champions League football for the 2018/19 season in triumphant style, beating the surviving Brighton 4-0. Here’s The Anfield Talk’s Anthony (@anthonymarkmcav) with the Winners and Losers from the Reds’ final Premier League game of the season.
WINNER: Mo Salah
Are you not entertained? Is 32 Premier League goals not enough?
Alan Shearer, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez. All three with 31 goals in a 38 game Premier League season. Mo Salah in a category of his own. A historic season capped off by scoring the first of four Liverpool goals in a professional rout of the Seagulls.Embed from Getty Images
A typical Mo Salah finish as he slotted home from inside the area with his left foot steadied the ship of a Liverpool side that had dominated the large part of the early game.
LOSER: Harry Kane
WINNERS: Andy Robertson and Dominic Solanke
First goals in red for the pair of these. Dom Solanke’s first goal in his 27th appearance for Liverpool, with a tremendous finish. Andy Robertson smashing it in (with the help of a deflection).Embed from Getty Images
The passion on both of their faces lit up Anfield just making the day even sweeter.
Solanke got the nod over the likes of Danny Ings and Ben Woodburn as Liverpool had to field an experimental team without James Milner, and he fulfilled his duties exceptionally. A full 90 minutes also put the young Englishman in good stead to push on with some much needed game-time under his belt before next season and a potential loan move away from Anfield.
Robertson has quickly become a fan favourite on the Kop and everyone, and that means everyone, is over the moon for the Scot that we got from Hull. It’s a popular opinion that he’s quietly becoming one of the best left-backs in the Premier League, if not Europe.
LOSERS: Chelsea FC
Chelsea had to secure all three points against Newcastle to even test Liverpool’s fourth place berth in the league. Antonio Conte’s Blues then proceeded to lose 3-0 to the Rafa Benitez-lead Magpies.
WINNER: Dejan Lovren
So many times this season, Dejan Lovren has been ridiculed by the Liverpool fan-base. Dragged through the mud unnecessarily to fit individual agendas.Embed from Getty Images
Gladly, and thankfully, the Croat is finally smashing through the glass ceiling that is Liverpool Twitter. He towered over Gaetan Bong to score what was nothing less than a majestic header to double Liverpool’s then 1-0 lead.
LOSER: Adam Lallana
Despite being in the ‘best shape he could be’ according to Jurgen Klopp, the English midfielder could only make the bench as the Reds ran out 4-0 winners in the final game of the season.
Lallana’s entire season has been plagued by injury and with missing out (albeit narrowly) on a place in the England squad for the World Cup, it could be a matter of time before we’re saying goodbye to the former Southampton man.
Plus, with Liverpool looking like they’ll be expanding their midfield ranks in the summer, with Naby Keita coming in; chances in the first team, even at full fitness will be hard to come by. We’ll be seeing less and less of Adz next season.
WINNER: Jurgen Klopp
A lot was made of Jurgen Klopp’s decision to field a lineup including four attackers, especially in the aftermath of Zeljko Buvac’s shocking departure from the club, and what do you know? The person who has managed two top tier football teams and bested Bayern Munich to the Bundesliga title actually knows what he’s doing,Embed from Getty Images
Granted, it was experimental but the experiment completely paid off with Klopp getting it exactly on the nose as Liverpool ran out into the Champions League group stage for next season.
LOSER: Joel Matip
This isn’t the first time Joel Matip’s been included here despite not touching the ball and it’s the same point I’ll make. There’s surely no way he comes anywhere near starting when he eventually returns from injury.
He’s injury prone, and he honestly not all that’s cracked up to be on the pitch. With Lovren coming into his own and Liverpool probably dipping a toe into the waters of the transfer market for another centre-half this summer, it’ll probably be less of Matip and more of Lovren and literally anyone else next season.
WINNER: Liverpool fans.
Back to back seasons in the Champions League regardless of the result in Kiev for a decade. Progress being made every week with the side becoming more and more filled with irreplaceable talents. This is the most promising era at Liverpool Football Club since the early 2000’s.
Look how far we’ve come since 2012. The only player remaining from the 2011/12 squad is our now captain, Jordan Henderson. Other names; Craig Bellamy, Sebastian Coates, Jay Spearing, Stewart Downing, Doni, all pretty much redundant in the world of football. Now we’re seeing Mo Salah, Bobby Firmino, Andy Robertson, Virgil van Dijk, week-in, week-out, now that is a glow-up for the ages.
Now we have to look forward to Kiev, the Champions League final and a potentially historic night in Liverpool folklore.