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Liverpool finish in top four after final day win v. Palace

Liverpool took care of business against Crystal Palace, and losses for Leicester City and Chelsea meant the Reds finished the 2020-21 Premier League season in third place.

Liverpool beat Crystal Palace 2-0 on the final day of the season, as Jurgen Klopp’s side finished in the top four of the Premier League and qualified for the Champions League.

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Sadio Mane scored in each half to complete a comfortable win for Liverpool and with Chelsea losing and Leicester drawing on the final day, Liverpool ended up finishing in third place.

The Reds, after all of their injury problems, had an incredible finish to the season and finished on 69 points. Crystal Palace finished 14th on 44 points.


Three things we learned

1. Mane comes up with the goods: He hasn’t had his best season, but when Liverpool needed him most, Mane delivered. He always seems to be in and around the box at the right moment and he finished in either half to help ease Liverpool into the top four. He will benefit a lot from a long break this summer.

2. Late surge based on back four: With five straight wins to finish the season and a 10-game unbeaten run, including eight wins, Liverpool surged into the top three. Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams stood tall when they needed it most and Klopp was rewarded for playing two inexperienced center backs in their natural positions, instead of playing midfielders at center back. The shape of Liverpool’s team has been so much better since and the entire team benefited from it.

3. Palace fail to take early chances: Early on Andros Townsend had two big chances but couldn’t take them and that was as much of a fight as Palace put up. Roy Hodgson is heading out, while so are plenty of Palace players, and there are big changes on the horizon for the Eagles. They played like a team focused on next season.

Man of the Match: Sadio Mane - Two goals and a constant threat.

Crystal Palace started well as Andros Townsend whipped a free kick in which Alisson had to push over.

Moments later a slack pass from Alexander-Arnold found Townsend and he should have put Palace ahead. The winger ran in on goal but smashed his shot just wide.

Alexander-Arnold almost scored a brilliant long-range free kick for Liverpool as the hosts finally got going.

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Sadio Mane crossed for Salah but his shot was deflected wide, and from that corner Rhys Williams had a free header and was six yards out but he nodded over.

But then Mane made it 1-0 as he finished at the back post after another corner caused chaos in the Palace box, and Anfield breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Salah then curled over and was put clean through moments later but Vicente Guaita saved well as he stood tall. Roberto Firmino then hammered a shot on goal which was deflected just wide.

In the second half it was all about staying calm for Liverpool, as Palace had a threat on the counter.

Tempers flared a little in the second half as Jordan Ayew had a chance, and a scrap with Thiago, but then Mane wrapped things up.

Salah played a one-two with Thiago and played in Mane as his deflected shot flew in.

Salah tried to score a few more on his own late on as he pushed for the golden boot, but the job was done.

At the final whistle Liverpool’s players and fans went wild, as Jurgen Klopp was hugely emotional as his side sealed a remarkable top four finish.

Follow @JPW_NBCSports