Liverpool haven't occupied any of the top four spots in the Premier League table since Matchday 3 way back in August, and haven't placed higher than sixth since late November. That hasn't stopped talk about Liverpool's chances to qualify for Champions League given how topsy turvy the rest of the league has been all season, and even manager Jürgen Klopp still thinks there's an extremely outside chance that it could still happen.
"There are still 27 points to get," Klopp said after Liverpool's 3-2 loss to Southampton on Sunday. "If we can get all of them, there is a chance. If not it will be difficult. We don't have to dream of things like this. We have to play football and win games. If we play like we did in the first half, we can win. If we play like in the second half it's more difficult. That's all.
"I'm not that good a loser so I don't feel brilliant, as you can imagine. I'm long enough to know this can happen in football. We had a few problems in the second half, we could have done better. We showed again that we can be a real brilliant side but we didn't take the points today. That's another truth. I'm not angry, I am frustrated that we got nothing for a very good first half."
Liverpool's performance proved the old football chestnut about a game of two halves, and that type of performance won't be nearly enough to earn literally every point they need from their nine remaining matches in the league. With the Reds being handed an incredibly difficult tie against Borussia Dortmund in Europa League, it's looking more and more likely that Champions League qualification through placement in the Premier League table is the only way Liverpool might have an outside chance of playing in Europe's top continental competition next season.
It's a possibility that is mathematically remote at best even if Liverpool do go on a massive winning streak. That Liverpool have only managed to win three league matches in a row once this season speaks to the scale of the challenge ahead for Jürgen Klopp's men.