English Premiership

Top 4 finish 'perfect' preparation for CL final - Klopp

2018-05-14 10:42
Jurgen Klopp (Getty Images)

London - Jurgen Klopp believes he can now enjoy the "perfect" preparation for the Champions League final after Liverpool confirmed their spot in next year's competition with a 4-0 rout of Brighton.

Led by Mohamed Salah's record-breaking 32nd Premier League goal of the season, Liverpool's victory at Anfield on Sunday secured fourth place, five points clear of Chelsea, who failed to apply any pressure in losing 3-0 against Newcastle United.

Liverpool face Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Kiev on May 26, but can rest at ease that a return to the competition is not dependent on beating the Spanish giants.

And Klopp is now hopeful an injury-hit Liverpool squad can rest up to be at their best in Ukraine.

"Some people have asked me if two weeks is too long and I say: 'no, it is perfect'," Klopp said.

"That is for us like a little pre-season to the game. Everyone can imagine the boys need a bit of rest.

"This was the perfect final of the season, of a very exciting season, and a very intense season."

Should Liverpool come out of the blocks against Madrid with the same poise and intensity that has characterised their season and blew Brighton away, then the 12-time European champions could be in for a real shock.


Salah was once again the talisman as he fired home after 26 minutes to relieve some of the tension inside Anfield and, in doing so, he surpassed Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez and Alan Shearer's joint-tally of 31 goals in a 38-game Premier League season to add the Golden Boot to his multiple Player of the Year accolades.

"He was fantastic," Klopp added. "I think especially the last few weeks were really difficult.

"I can't imagine how difficult it must be if everybody tells you every day how brilliant you are but not only that, they give you an Oscar, an award for this and award for that, for getting out of the car without an accident.

"It is really difficult to stay focused but he is focused. He now has two weeks to prepare for our biggest game and now I am really looking forward to it. Now, we will be ready and this qualification gives us a big boost."

After Salah's intervention, Liverpool remained dominant but could not turn that into more goals until Dejan Lovren rose highest in a crammed penalty area to nod past Matthew Ryan and kill the contest off after just 40 minutes.

After the interval, Liverpool provided two further moments of cheer as Dominic Solanke slammed home his maiden Reds' goal after 53 minutes before Andy Robertson also got his first for the club.

Brighton had already secured their survival by beating Manchester United last weekend.

But manager Chris Hughton admitted Liverpool had been far too good for his side, and wished them luck in becoming the first English side to win the Champions League in six years.

"They're a team that we're all hoping can win the Champions League in a few weeks time," said Hughton.

"We would've taken (finishing 15th) if it had been offered to us. It's very difficult to evaluate your best moments in the game but this is right up there because I know how difficult it is to stay up."


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Saturday, 23 November 2019
West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur, London Stadium 14:30
Arsenal v Southampton, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Everton v Norwich City, Goodison Park 17:00
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 17:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Leicester City, The American Express Community Stadium 17:00
Watford v Burnley, Vicarage Road 17:00
AFC Bournemouth v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Vitality Stadium 17:00
Manchester City v Chelsea, Etihad Stadium 19:30
Sunday, 24 November 2019
Sheffield United v Manchester United, Bramall Lane 18:30
Monday, 25 November 2019
Aston Villa v Newcastle United, Villa Park 22:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

And the 2019/20 English Premiership champions will be ... ?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.