Sadio Mane struck twice when Liverpool secured Premier League 2–0 victory with the qualifying Crystal Palace finishing third for Jurgen Klopp’s team at Anfield on Sunday. A fifth successive win brought disappointment and an impressive end to the injured campaign for the Premier League last season’s champions.
With 10,000 fans in attendance, Liverpool started out nervously, and Palace’s Andros Townsend missed a big chance when he intercepted a weak pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold, but only to beat Alisson Becker, shot at the goal.
Liverpool rose to the occasion and Rhys Williams should have opened the scoring, but, unmarked on a corner, his header flew over the bar.
Mohammed Salah had a good chance to score the main goal but home team goalkeeper Vicente Guaita saved Sadio Mane‘s shot going from the right to the top corner. Mane went on to win and place in the top four when he fired a shot with his left foot in the 74th minute after being set up by Salah.
A series of six defeats from seven matches in February and March threatened to leave Liverpool without a place in the elite European competition. However, Klopp’s team ended the undefeated season in the last 10 matches, winning eight of them. They finished third with 69 points, 17 points behind champions Manchester City.
This was the last match for Crystal Palace’s manager Roy Hodgson, the former England boss, who had a brief spell with Liverpool. He left the role at the age of 73.
He also said goodbye to Liverpool, with midfielder Georgina Wijnaldum receiving a strong referral from the crowd and his teammates. The Dutchman’s contract with the club expires in July and no new agreements have been signed.
Liverpool gave a Guard of Honour to kitman Graham Carter, who’s retiring after 35 years at the club, after the final whistle and was paraded around the field by Klopp.