Liverpool sealed their place in next season’s UEFA Champions League after a convincing 2-0 win over Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace saw them finish third in the Premier League.
The Reds came into this game knowing they just had to match or better Leicester’s result, who faced Tottenham Hotspur at the same time.
Crystal Palace had already secured their spot in the division for another season. Roy Hodgson’s Anfield return was to be his maiden voyage as he took charge of Palace for the final time.
Jurgen Klopp couldn’t hide his excitement to the return of the fans, and was seen to be very hyperactive throughout the game riling the fans up. The return of fans also saw marquee signing, Thiago Alcantara, given his Merseyside welcoming as his name echoed from the stands.
Starring in their kit for next season, the home side started slowly, allowing an early chance for Wilfried Zaha forcing Alisson Becker into action. Andros Townsend was next to test the Brazilian stopper, this time from a free kick just outside the edge of the box.
A mistake from Trent Alexander-Arnold saw the former Newcastle winger gifted with another opportunity not long after, this time clean through on goal he was unable to capitalise, hitting his shot wide of the far post.
As expected, Liverpool soon began to have chances of their own as the tide began to turn. Mohammed Salah’s shot was blocked followed by young centre back Rhys Williams seeing his header go flying over the bar after Andy Robertson’s corner.
Salah looked desperate to score in the race for the Golden boot after going into the final game tied with Harry Kane on 22 goals.
Klopp’s Reds broke the deadlock in the 36th minute after Robertson’s corner caused a scramble in the box for Sadio Mane to finish, continuing his magnificent record against the Eagles, scoring in 6 straight appearances against them.
The Senegalese forward then doubled his and Liverpool’s tally in the 74th minute after his strike took a deflection off Gary Cahill seeing it go past Vicente Guaita to seal the win, much to the delight of the Anfield faithful.
Liverpool ultimately ended the season in third place after Chelsea’s defeat to Aston Villa saw them jump a place in the table to secure a bigger dip of the prize pot.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Although Mane may have secured the win with his two goals, Thiago once again ran the show for the Reds in the middle of the park and was constantly dictating the play. His show for the returning fans was evidence of his praise from fans in recent weeks.