Thiago’s bleak assessment of Liverpool’s top-four chances despite Saints win

Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara believes the team still need a “small miracle” in order to qualify for the Champions League despite their 2-0 victory over Southampton on Saturday.

The Spanish midfielder grabbed his first goal for the club in injury time to add to Sadio Mane’s first-half header as the Reds recorded a relatively comfortable win against the Saints.

The result saw them go above Tottenham into sixth place and they now lie just six points behind fourth-placed Leicester having played a game less.

Speaking at full-time, however, Thiago admitted it would still be an uphill battle to finish above the likes of the Foxes and West Ham and secure a place in Europe’s elite competition for next season.

Thiago scored his first Liverpool goal in the win against Southampton

“We have to keep fighting until the end with this small chance,” he told Sky Sports. “It is an amazing feeling [to score] but the most important thing is the three points.

“We keep fighting for a small miracle. I think we had chances in the past that didn’t always go for us but the window is open so we try to go through the window.”

Missing out on the Champions League would be a big blow for Liverpool financially, and would top off what has been a hugely disappointing campaign.

They are next in action on Thursday, when they take on bitter rivals Manchester United in their re-arranged Premier League fixture after it was postponed last weekend due to protests at Old Trafford.

They then have a relatively kind-looking run-in to the season as they face West Brom, Burnley and Crystal Palace.

It is still a big ask for Liverpool to finish in the top four
It is still a big ask for Liverpool to finish in the top four

And their manager Jurgen Klopp believes victory in all four remaining matches would be enough to secure a top four spot.

“Yes. If we do that I think it will be enough. But that is a big if,” he said.

“If West Brom are still fighting, Burnley maybe. All teams have targets and if they don’t have them any more as they have reached them, they can play with freedom and that is not nice as well.”

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