Liverpool secured fourth place in the Premier League and a Champions League qualification berth with a 3-0 win over Middlesbrough at Anfield on Sunday.
Knowing victory would make certain of their objective, Jürgen Klopp’s side kept their nerve in the opening period and eventually took the lead through a clinical Georginio Wijnaldum finish.
Buoyed by the breakthrough, a quickfire double after the interval – via a Philippe Coutinho free-kick and Adam Lallana from close range – put the result beyond doubt and ensured fourth position for the Reds.
The key points…
- Wijnaldum blast broke deadlock in first-half stoppage-time
- Coutinho free-kick doubled advantage and Lallana hit a third
- Liverpool finish fourth and will enter 2017-18 Champions League qualifiers
The team news…
When the teamsheets were exchanged ahead of kick-off, Liverpool’s showed one change from last weekend at West Ham United – with Roberto Firmino fit enough to start, in place of Divock Origi up front.
The first half…
The Reds – wearing their resplendent retro-style kit for 2017-18 – set about their task without hesitation, Firmino firing in an early effort and Coutinho slightly misjudging a cross for Daniel Sturridge before the first genuine chance on six minutes.
That fell to Nathaniel Clyne, who was the spare man at the back post when James Milner lofted a cross in from the left. He controlled the ball nicely for a strike but sliced off target to the left.