The German feels that his goalkeeper’s season-defining finish was possibly written in the stars, but knows bigger tests are still to come
Jurgen Klopp has called Alisson’s match-winning header against West Brom “fate” but has warned his Liverpool side that they must treat their final two games as sudden death encounters to keep their Champions League hopes alive.
The Reds face Burnley and Crystal Palace in their final two games of the season, with both matches set to welcome back fans for the first time this year, knowing that victory in both will be enough to secure them a top four berth.
They looked to have blown their shot at the weekend against Sam Allardyce’s Baggies, held to a draw until goalkeeper Alisson landed a last-gasp finish deep into injury time to ensure victory – and Klopp admits that the moment felt “like it was meant to be”.
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What has been said?
Asked ahead of his side’s trip to Turf Moor on Wednesday whether Liverpool need to be wary of buying into a sense of inevitable success, the German warned to The Mirror: “I will not guard against it, no chance.
“There is no reason for guarding against anything. It was a very positive moment and, when Alisson scored, it looked like it was meant to be.
“That is what we as human beings are always like. Don’t we all believe in fate until we realise this time it is not meant to be?
“That means there is still a job to do. One of the lessons I learned very early in my life is don’t celebrate the day before the night. That is what we say in Germany. Does it make sense?
“If we finish the season now we are fifth, and if we keep the points tally we currently have we will not even finish fifth, so we’ll see if it is fate or not at the end of the season.
“Since I’ve been here pretty much every season has gone to the wire, for different reasons. I can’t remember a season when we haven’t had finals,” said Klopp.
“It was either a big cup competition or we have had to fight in the league to the very last second. So here we are again. Now we have to make sure we have something to fight for on Sunday.
“It is a semi-final at Burnley and, if we win it, we have a final. If we don’t win, then probably not. Six weeks ago no one would have imagined we could get that close. But close is not there.”
The bigger picture
Liverpool have been handed a boost in their aspirations thanks to Chelsea and Leicester City’s encounter on Tuesday, in which the Blues avenged their FA Cup final defeat with an immediate response.
That result means that the fourth-place Foxes sit three points ahead of Liverpool, with an inferior goal difference to boot – meaning that as long as Liverpool win both of their remaining games, they are assured of a Champions League berth.
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