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What next for Liverpool after the UEL exit?

What next for Liverpool after the UEL exit

Liverpool were knocked out of the UEFA Europa League in the quarterfinals by Italian side Atalanta. The Reds won the reverse fixture 1-0 in Bergame but the deed had been done after the 3-0 loss at Anfield in England.

The Reds, having already won the Carabao Cup in February, sought to challenge for the Premier League title once again. However, results in April have been terrible and they are no longer in contention for the Premier League title, leaving Arsenal and Manchester City to rumble until the final day. 

UEFA Europa League Run

Liverpool sealed qualification for this season’s UEL group stage after finishing fifth in the Premier League behind champions Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United and Newcastle United. The Reds were pitted against Toulouse, Union SG and LASK in Group E.

 

The Merseyside outfit had a quite decent group stage campaign, recording 4W, and 2L to finish on top of their group with 12 points. Jurgen Klopp’s charges scored an impressive 17 goals and conceded just 7.

 

By virtue of them finishing top of their group, Liverpool were excused from the play-off round. After that round was completed, Liverpool got Sparta Praha in the round of 16, a match-up in which many touted the Reds as favourites over their less fancied counterparts. Just as it was predicted, Jurgen Klopp’s men strolled past the Czech side, winning 11-2 on aggregate.

 

The Reds squared off against Atalanta for a place in the semifinals. The first leg of this fixture ended in a shocking 3-0 win for the Italians, leaving the Premier League side with all to do in the second leg. The second leg didn’t offer much in terms of excitement and ended in a 1-0 win for Liverpool but it was not enough to help them turn the tie around and they were rightfully dumped out of the competition in Bergamo.

Domestic Cup run

Liverpool made a run to the Carabao Cup title in February even in the face of tons of injuries. The Reds defeated newly promoted Leicester City 3-1 in the third round before beating fellow Premier League side Bournemouth 2-1 in the following round. Klopp’s men thumped West Ham United 5-1 in the quarterfinals to reach the final four.

 

They faced Fulham in the semis, over two legs, to determine who will progress to the final in Wembley. Although the London side gave a good account of themselves, the Reds were too much for them as they won 3-2 on aggregate to set up a final clash with Chelsea. With numerous first-team players missing, Klopp’s side managed to get the job done, beating the Blues 1-0 after extra time in the keenly contested encounter. 

 

Meanwhile, Liverpool faced fellow title challengers Arsenal in the FA Cup. The Gunners’ campaign was made brief as the Reds knocked them out in the third round after scoring two late goals courtesy of a Kiwior own goal in the 80th minute and Luis Diaz’s 95th-minute strike. 

Liverpool’s Premier League Season so far

Jurgen Klopp’s Arsenal sit five points behind Arsenal in the Premier League standings at the time of writing. The Reds have been quite impressive this season, dominating opponents and winning games with very comfortable margins. They have suffered a few setbacks along the line but that is only expected given the quality of competition in the Premier League.

 

In the initial title race, Liverpool had Arsenal and Manchester City for company at the summit of the Premier League standings in a tight race for glory. The Reds gave a good account of themselves to play themselves into the title conversations in the first instance. However, it is no longer like that for them anymore. Regardless, Liverpool tickets are selling fast between now and the end of the season.

 

The Reds have played 35 matches in the Premier League at the time of writing, recording 22 wins, 9 draws, and 4 losses to amass 75 points. The Merseyside outfit have scored 77 goals, the third most by any team in the PL and they have conceded 36 goals. 

 

Their biggest win margin so far in the PL this season has come in two 4-1 thrashing of Chelsea and Luton Town respectively. Their biggest defeat margins have come in a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

The Run-in

As of the time of writing, Liverpool have three games left to play in the Premier League and things look well beyond them after some string of poor results in April. Before the Reds’ surprise capitulation, of the three teams in contention for the Premier League crown, the Gunners have the most difficult end-of-the-season run-in on paper.

 

The Reds hosted Crystal Palace before games against Everton in the Merseyside derby and a trip to London to face West Ham United. They will face Tottenham, Aston Villa and Wolves in their final three games of the season. 

 

Following their UEL defeat, Liverpool played host to Crystal Palace in a crucial home game but they were shocked by the Eagles 1-0 to dent their title chances. As if that was not enough, Klopp’s men, who have dominated the fixture since the German’s arrival, failed to bring that form to the fore as the Toffees claimed a crucial 2-0 win to aid their survival chances.

 

That slip from the Reds, handed Arsenal and Manchester City to go clear past them as we enter the final stages of the season. However, the Reds dropped further points against West Ham United, clawing back twice to force a 2-2 draw.

 

The Reds will return to Anfield on matchday 36 where they will face a pretty unpredictable Tottenham plagued by injuries and inconsistency all season. The last time the Whites visited Anfield, it ended in a 4-3 defeat, a result the Reds will be looking to repeat at all costs this time around to finish the season on a high.

 

Liverpool will make the trip down to West Midlands to face Aston Villa in their penultimate game of the season and the Villans are keen to finish the season on a high by playing in the Champions League next season. 

 

The Reds must win all their remaining Premier League matches while hoping for results elsewhere to miraculously go in their favour to get their hands on the trophy in what is Jurgen Klopp’s final season with the club.

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