In the final game of the 2016/17 Premier League season, Liverpool secured a deserved victory over Middlesbrough and more importantly, a much-needed Champions League spot for next season. The Reds overcame a nervy start to win 3-0 at Anfield as Jurgen Klopp's men gave the supporters every reason for a party in the last home league match of an eventful campaign.
With a top four spot on the line, Arsenal won their respective game against Everton. However, it turned out to be inconsequential as it would be Liverpool who became the fourth team to qualify for club football's biggest competition.
Georginio Wijnaldum gave the Reds a lead on the cusp of half-time as his goal finally settled a nervy crowd at Anfield. The second half saw an absolute carnage from the hosts as Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana made it 3-0 in 11 minutes and in reality, it should have been much more. On that note, let's delve right into the five talking points from an important game which made this season somewhat successful for Liverpool:
#1 European nights of the best kind set to be back at Anfield soon
After their title challenge had fizzled at the turn of the year, the onus on Liverpool was to secure a top four spot on the table. The Reds had to toil hard for this as they often lost momentum against sides that were well below them. But credit has to be given to the character of the players as they fought hard and achieved their aim even if they had left to the last day fo the season.
Jurgen Klopp said in his post-match press conference, "We are Liverpool. We had to deliver that", which promptly gave an idea of the mood around the club tonight.
The fans were nervy at the beginning but a stellar second half display meant Champions League nights are just two qualifying games away. Liverpool were not in any European competition this season and another year without it would have been disastrous not only for the reputation of the club but also on the transfer front which would now be easy with Champions League football on offer.