Alisson goal felt like fate but Jurgen Klopp still focused on finishing job

Liverpool went into last weekend knowing three victories would secure a top-four finish which seemed unlikely only a couple of weeks ago
Alisson goal felt like fate but Jurgen Klopp still focused on finishing job

Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson, center, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's second goal during the Premier League win over West Brom. Picture: Laurence Griffiths

Alisson Becker’s unexpected, dramatic late winner at West Brom has Jurgen Klopp believing fate is playing a part in Liverpool’s bid for Champions League qualification.

His side went into last weekend knowing three victories would secure a top-four finish which seemed unlikely only a couple of weeks ago.

But with the time almost over at the Hawthorns, it needed the intervention of the Brazil goalkeeper, becoming the first in the club in that position to score, to keep their hopes on track.

However, as they go to Burnley looking to make it seven wins from the last nine and keep their destiny in their own hands heading into the final game of the season at home to Crystal Palace, Klopp will remind his players there is still plenty of work to do.

“Don’t we all believe in fate until we realise this time it is not meant to be?” he said. “This is what it is like, as human beings are always like this. We are always believing until we realise it was the wrong moment.

“It was a very positive moment and in this moment it looked like it (Champions League qualification) was meant to be but if we finish the season now we are fifth, so that doesn’t make too much sense.

“If we keep the points tally we have we will not even finish the season in fifth. That means there is still a job to do. If it is fate or not we will see after the end of the season.”

Klopp is still wary that despite recovering from the slump which saw them go from winning just three league matches from the turn of the year to early March to becoming the Premier League’s form team with 20 points from a possible 24, their struggle is not over.

He will have Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and possibly fellow midfielder James Milner back for the game at Turf Moor — and Diogo Jota could still make a surprise late appearance in the final game of the season after his foot injury proved to be not as serious as first feared — but he still has seven other senior players sidelined.

“That is why we were not super, super optimistic thinking ‘Yeah we will do it’ because we really had some lessons this year and one of the lessons I learned very early in my life is don’t celebrate the day before the night,” he added.

“Nothing happened yet. We only qualified for the semis (ie: Two matches to go). That’s good, now we have to make sure we are ready for it.

“It is a quite intense period of the season for us.

“It feels good in the moment but we had phases during the season when it was just hard that you can’t get over the one game properly and then the next game is waiting.

“We need to be lucky with injuries. We don’t have a lot of options in some positions. Maybe we deserve it (Champions League qualification) with the injuries with all the things we went through this year.”

Meanwhile, Burnley boss Sean Dyche is once again linked with Premier League rivals, the 49-year-old is high on the bookies’ shortlist of candidates to replace Roy Hodgson at Crystal Palace.

Dyche declined to be drawn on the speculation but said he expected to hold talks with the Burnley board on a new contract in the coming weeks as he nears the last 12 months of his existing deal. Asked if he had been working on defending against goalkeepers from corners as a result of Alisson’s goal, Dyche said: “I’d have seen him off, don’t worry about that,” he said. “It was a great finish though.”

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