The Premier League top four race has been as tight as ever this season. With each week, it chopped and changed, doors opened for some, whilst the same door slammed shut for others. Yet, here we are at the end of the season, with the most dramatic of final days possible.
As the full time whistle sounded around England, Liverpool sat third, Chelsea sat fourth and Leicester City, despite spending the most time in the positions out of the three sides, sat fifth. Liverpool completed their resurgence. Chelsea got lucky as Leicester City let the position slip for the second consecutive season with a 4-2 loss to Tottenham Hotspur.
In March, the Reds sat as low as eighth. The Anfield fortress had been burned down. Liverpool looked out of ideas. But with Jurgen Klopp at the helm, anything is possible. In their last ten games, they welcomed Fabinho back into midfield and, as a result, welcomed back the points- dropping just four.
As for Leicester City, they may have won the FA Cup, but they bottled top four yet again- losing to Newcastle, West Ham, Spurs and Manchester United. Chelsea, meanwhile, despite a final day loss to Aston Villa, kept ahold of their fourth spot.
Premier League Top Four Race: Liverpool Complete Resurgence and Chelsea Get Lucky
Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool’s Most Important Man
In the last three seasons, Jurgen Klopp has more than proved his worth, wining four trophies including both the Premier League and Champions League. And such was the way in which Liverpool dominated last season, it’s as if the world wanted to throw them a knew challenge and the hardest of Jurgen Klopp’s career.
Despite injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, things were looking rosey in December as the Reds sat top of the pile. Things soon spiralled out of control, however, with Burnley’s record-ending win at Anfield creating a domino effect. Klopp’s side then went on a run of six losses in a row at Anfield, which including a first Merseyside Derby defeat in over two decades.
Yet, like always, Klopp’s Reds resurged in incredible fashion. It took 19 different centre-back partnerships, changes in midfield and an out of form Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, but, in the end, they prevailed. After the most unforeseen crisis, Liverpool eventually rode the wave to silence doubters and finish in the top three.
In his most difficult season to date, Klopp proved his worth.
Leicester City: Heartbreak Once More
In the last two seasons, Leicester City have spent 554 days in the Champions League places. Yet, here they are, destined for another season without a place on the grandest stage. It was heartbreaking as it was, but, to see Chelsea lose to Aston Villa, would have devastated the Foxes. A Liverpool win left it out of their hands, but with Chelsea losing, just a win would do for a place they had been fighting for all season.
The most gutting aspect of them all? They took the lead in the first 20 minutes before regaining it in the 52nd. It was theirs to lose. And they did just that courtesy of Gareth Bale brace and Kasper Schmeichel own goal.
Chelsea got lucky, and they’ll know it too. Leicester were left devastated and Liverpool were left standing above their doubter after an incredible resurgence in the Premier League top four race.
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