Captain Jordan Henderson insists Liverpool must still defeat Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday, even though Chelsea’s midweek slip-up means a draw would almost certainly be enough for a top-four finish.
Chelsea missed the chance to draw level on points with fourth-placed Liverpool when they were held at home to Huddersfield Town on Wednesday, handing the Reds a huge boost in their Champions League qualification bid.
And Jurgen Klopp’s European finalists – two points clear of the Blues – have a slightly kinder final-day fixture, too, hosting Brighton as Chelsea head to Newcastle United.
Although Liverpool’s vastly superior goal difference surely makes a point against Brighton enough to seal fourth, Henderson says recent results will not alter his side’s attitude.
“I think we’ve still got to win the game,” the former Sunderland man told Liverpool’s official website. “Obviously the draw would probably be enough but we definitely won’t be going in with that mindset.
“You’ve just got to go out there – especially with it being at Anfield – focused on winning the game, playing like we have been at Anfield recently, giving everything, and I’m sure the atmosphere will be brilliant with it being the last day.
“We’re looking forward to that. It’s another big game for us but the mindset, like it is every game, is to go and win.”
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 10, 2018
With the Champions League final on the horizon, Henderson also believes it is important that Liverpool finish the Premier League season on a high, having picked up just two points from their last three matches.
“The first final is on Sunday because, if we win, that guarantees us Champions League football, which is massive for us as a team, as a club,” he said.
“It’s a big one and then, obviously, we’ve got a little bit more time to focus on the other final after that.”
And while the Reds captain is happy to be on the brink of securing qualification again, he acknowledges winning titles – like the one on offer in Kiev – is the next step.
Henderson added: “Going forward, the aim will be not only to qualify for the Champions League but to be winning trophies on a more regular basis to make this club successful again.”
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