Liverpool – Palance

Liverpool – Palance

Recap

Sadio Mane was the final day hero for Liverpool as Jurgen Klopp’s side qualified for next season’s UEFA Champions League in front of 10,000 supporters at Anfield.

Liverpool ended what has been in many ways a forgettable season on a high as Sadio Mane struck form just at the right time to fire home a brace and seal a top-four space for the Reds.  Roared on by 10,000 loyal supporters in situ at Anfield, Jurgen Klopp’s side were looking to put a positive spin on a otherwise dismal season for many reasons.

Greeted as ever, perhaps by the most poignant rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone for some time, Liverpool needed no reminding of the importance of the task in hand.

Despite making a nervy start to proceedings – conceding early chances to Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend – the hosts soon found their often lacking mojo and began to control the game. Similar to much of the 2020/21 campaign, Liverpool were at times wasteful in the first half as a third Golden Boot chasing Mohamed Salah looked sharp without finding the cutting edge required.

The best chance of the opening half an hour came when Rhys Williams found himself unmarked eight yards out from a corner – only to balloon a header some distance over the bar.  On 36 minutes the deadlock was finally broken when Williams was once again first to connect from a corner, this time steering the ball into Roberto Firmino’s path, only for the Brazilian to inadvertently set up Mane to fire home.

Head injuries to Nat Phillips and Williams saw five minutes of added time play out without incident – Liverpool in control as Chelsea trailed at Villa Park and Leicester were held against Tottenham.  In truth, the opening exchanges of the second period went by serenely, before a flash point arose when Jordan Ayew took exception to a Trent Alexander-Arnold tackle – both men booked for their involvement.

Moments later that man Salah was wreaking havoc once again before a nice one two with Gini Wijnaldum saw the Egyptian find Mane in acres of space. The Senegalese winger firing a deflected shot in at the Kop end to round off the days scoring.

There always seemed to be one undercurrent on an important day for the Reds as the soon to be out of contract Wijnaldum, all but confirmed his departure when replaced for James Milner – the Dutchman waving to the adoring crowd as he departed the field.

Fittingly after the match the 236 appearance central midfielder was given a guard of honour and thanked by those present for his service to the club.  Whilst a 2-0 win didn’t provide the fireworks many might’ve hoped for on the final day – especially as Salah missed out on the top honour to Harry Kane – Liverpool ensured UEFA Champions League football would return next season with a remarkable third place finish.

Not only will elite European football be back, but as will Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Jordan Henderson and most importantly of all, fans.

Details

Date Time League Season Full Time
May 23, 2021 6:00 pm Premier League 2021 90'

Ground

Anfield

Results

Club1st Half2nd HalfGoalsOutcome
Liverpool112Win
Palace000Loss

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