Liverpool beat Fulham to keep top-four hopes alive


Liverpool's Mohamed Salah kisses the ball before taking his penalty kick during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield on May 3, 2023 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. 

Liverpool’s chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League are not realistic despite a fifth straight win, says boss Jurgen Klopp.

The in-form Reds, who only have four matches left, moved four points behind fourth-placed Manchester United after Mohamed Salah’s penalty sunk Fulham at Anfield.

However, United have two games in hand on fifth-placed Liverpool – including one at eighth-placed Brighton on Thursday – kick-off 20:00 BST.

Only leaders Manchester City have taken more points from the last six matches than Liverpool, but Klopp played down his side’s chances of sneaking into the top four.

“No. I don’t feel it like that but it means nothing. It’s about probabilities,” said the Reds boss when asked whether finishing fourth was now realistic.

“If Newcastle and Manchester United win all their games, we have no chance. If Brighton win all their games, they are ahead of us. That’s the situation. We just have to win our games and see where it takes us.

“At the moment I’m happy with our direction. We just have to keep going and in the end we’ll look at the table and take what we can get.”

Salah scored for the eighth home game in a row as Liverpool maintained their flourishing late-season form.

The Egypt forward beat Bernd Leno from the penalty spot in the 39th-minute after Darwin Nunez was fouled by Issa Diop.

However, it required an outstanding one-handed save by Liverpool’s Brazil keeper Alisson in the 77th-minute to keep out countryman Carlos Vinicius.

With Trent Alexander-Arnold and Luis Diaz in sparkling form, Liverpool created a string of chances but were unable to add to their lead before Fulham threatened after half-time.

Despite defeat, the Cottagers remain on course for a first top-10 Premier League finish since 2011-12.

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