‘Massive’ for Liverpool to finish top four, says Klopp

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The Reds boss said his side has already exceeded expectations in a campaign that has seen them reach the Champions League final

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes that it would be a “massive” step forward for the Reds to finish in the Premier League’s top four for a second consecutive season.

The Anfield side are third, six points clear of fifth-place Chelsea but in a vulnerable position because they play the Blues, who have a game in hand, on Sunday.

Although victory in the Champions League final against Real Madrid would also secure a slot in that competition next season, Klopp is eager to have it locked up before the May 26 final.

“It would be massive,” he admitted, “It was actually the main target we had at the start of the season. You want to be champions but it was clear after a few months that would not be possible.

“The target is qualifying for the Champions League. That would be a big success. With the group we’ve got, with how we came to the final and playing with the biggest intensity, being ready again, then the injuries we had, it would be a massive success.

“It’s all about the players and what they did so far is absolutely exceptional. The problem is that Sunday is also important.”

Indeed, the former Dortmund coach has admitted that doing so well in Europe this term has far exceeded expectations.

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“You cannot plan for a Champions League final obviously,” he said. “Nobody thought about that at the start of the season. Of course, we wanted to go as far as possible but my main target was the top four. We worked hard for that and now we want to bring it over the line.

“If we do it, it would show everything but it’s still an if. I don’t like the word ‘would’ too much. Let’s talk about it when it happens. We have to play football games to make that happen.”

Liverpool’s final league match of the season is a clash against Brighton at Anfield on May 13, with the showpiece in Kiev a fortnight later concluding their competitive campaign.

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