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Weekend Results Keep Liverpool Battle for Europe Alive

It’s still not in Liverpool’s hands, but there remains a pathway to the top four

West Ham United v Manchester United - Premier League
David De Gea reacts after conceding to West Ham on Sunday.
David De Gea reacts after conceding to West Ham on Sunday.

Liverpool won against Brentford to make it six straight wins, as Alisson Becker kept his 100th clean sheet for Liverpool. While it was not a pretty win, at this juncture the three points are all that matters.

With three left to play — Leicester away, Aston Villa at home, and Southampton away — the Reds look to maximize their wins and hope other sides do them a favor. At most Liverpool can finish the season on 71 points; before this weekend’s action, Newcastle could finish n 80, Manchester United could finish on 78, and Brighton could finish on 73.

All three sides with points potentials higher than Liverpool’s lost this weekend, with Manchester United losing to West Ham, Newcastle to Arsenal, and, shockingly, Brighton to Everton.

While both Manchester United and Brighton have a match or matches in hand on the Reds, Brighton’s highest possible points tally is now 70, meaning if Liverpool do the business in their final three, no one currently below them on the table can finish above them,

After United’s shock loss to West Ham, they can finish the season with a maximum of 75 points — four above Liverpool’s best possible. As their goal difference sits on just +8, the Reds have the advantage there; as such, Liverpool need United to drop points in two of their final fixtures: a big ask, but not an impossible one. United are to play Wolves at home, Bournemouth away, Chelsea at home, and Fulham at home on the final day. While on paper you’d expect maximum points, the Red Devils have not won two matches in a row since April, and their last run of four wins came back in February.

It’s also possible that Newcastle could fall off a cliff, of course: they could finish the season on a maximum of 77 points after their loss at home to Arsenal, and have four left to play (Leeds away, Brighton at home, Leicester at home, and Chelsea away on the final day).

On balance, it’s not likely that the Reds will finish in the top four; stranger things have happened, however, and if any club were to pull off a long-shot like this, you’d expect it from us.

Should we fall short, there’s still European football up for grabs, of course: though the Europa League and the Europa Connference League lack the prestige of the big cup, Jürgen Klopp has won neither competition with Liverpool, and, due largely to the newness of the competition, Liverpool have never played in the Conference League. While the Champions League is the target, we can expect a fun journey next season regardless.

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