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Liverpool back in Premier League top four

There was no need for a goalscoring goalkeeper this time for Liverpool.

Their latest win in the Premier League – 3-0 at Burnley – was far more routine than the one secured by goalkeeper Alisson’s sensational stoppage-time header at the weekend.

It was no less vital, though.

Liverpool will head into Sunday’s final round back in the top four, if only on goal difference, as last season’s runaway champions look to clinch qualification for the Champions League – a possibility that looked so unlikely a month ago.

With two qualifying spots up for grabs to join Manchester City and Manchester United, Chelsea are in third place on 67 points, one more than both Liverpool and fifth-place Leicester City.

Liverpool have a superior goal difference to Leicester of four, so any kind of victory over Crystal Palace should be enough for Jurgen Klopp’s team to finish in the top four.

Leicester close the season at home to Tottenham Hotspur while Chelsea are away to Aston Villa.

Three days after Alisson’s winner at West Brom, it was another Brazil international – Roberto Firmino – who put Liverpool ahead at Turf Moor by converting a cross from Andrew Robertson in the 43rd minute.

Nathaniel Phillips, the reserve centre back filling in so admirably amid a glut of injuries in that position, scored the second goal with a header from Sadio Mane’s cross in the 52nd.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain added a third in the 88th with his first goal of the campaign.

The other thing to be decided on the final day of the season will be which teams qualify for UEFA’s minor European competitions, the Europa League and the newly created Europa Conference League.

West Ham United are in a good position to finish sixth and qualify for the Europa League after beating relegated West Bromwich Albion 3-1.

The Baggies will need to find a new manager for their return to the Championship after Sam Allardyce announced that he will leave the club at the end of this season.

Seventh-place Tottenham were jeered by their own returning fans during and after their 2-1 loss to Villa, in what could be Harry Kane’s final home game for the club.

Villa recovered from conceding an eighth-minute goal by Steven Bergwijn to score twice before halftime.

Sergio Reguilon sliced in a comical Spurs’ own-goal and then twice failed to clear, allowing Ollie Watkins to run through and finish.

Spurs are level on points with Everton, who beat Wolverhampton 1-0 at home.

Arsenal area point further back in ninth after a 3-1 win at Crystal Palace.

Newcastle United won 1-0 at home to Sheffield United in Wednesday’s other game.

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