It’s been a tough year for the Reds, who have gone from title challengers to top-four contenders. Nevertheless, they took a big step towards a top-four finish after Sunday’s 2-0 win against Sheffield United.
Jurgen Klopp’s side struggled to get going early on, but a second-half masterclass saw them walk away with all three points.
Last year at this stage, Liverpool had a seemingly insurmountable gap atop the league table en route to their first top-flight title in three decades. This season, though, 'disappointing' would be an understatement to describe how they have fared.
Liverpool’s win against Sheffield has now taken them to sixth in the league table, two points below fourth-placed West Ham United but a whopping 19 adrift of runaway league leaders Manchester City.
Sheffield United win could stand Liverpool in good stead ahead of Chelsea clash
Following a debilitating run of four successive losses, Liverpool returned to winning ways in the Premier League against bottom-placed Sheffield to revive their hopes of a top-four finish and Champions League football next season.
With a marquee clash against Chelsea coming up next, Liverpool needed the morale-boosting win to take on the Blues, who are unbeaten under Thomas Tuchel.
“This was about us showing we’re still there. We play Chelsea on Thursday, we have to show it again," Klopp told Sky Sports, as quoted by Goal.
"We have to win football games, we know that. There’s no way into the Champions League without results. Tonight we got it, we keep going. "Plenty of people have written us off. That's fine. With all the problems we have had, we're still around the exciting places," Klopp continued.
Winning the Premier League may be beyond Klopp's Liverpool now, but qualifying for the Champions League remains a very plausible proposition.
Liverpool are back in the top-four race
It is fair to say the Reds are back on track to finish in the top four following their impressive win against Sheffield United. By beating the Blades, Liverpool now have their destiny in their own hands.
Their upcoming Premier League game against Chelsea appears to be a straight battle for a top-four finish. At the moment, Manchester City, Manchester United and Leicester City look favourites for the top three places, while the fourth could see a toss-up between Liverpool and Chelsea.
With, only two points separating West Ham United, Chelsea and Liverpool, the Reds face a tough top-4 race. Should Liverpool beat Chelsea on Thursday, they would move into the top four, as West Ham are not playing in midweek.
The season has still some way to go, so Liverpool will savour their realistic chance of qualifying for the 2021-22 Champions League following their win over Sheffield United.