Gini Wijnaldum says goodbye as Liverpool clinch Champions League spot

Liverpool not only clinched the Champions League spot but also finished third in the Premier League table after a dramatic final day at Anfield.

The Reds won 2-0 against Crystal Palace in Roy Hodgson’s last game for the club. Sadio Mane scored both goals as Liverpool booked a place for next season’s Champions League.

With Leicester City losing 4-2 against Tottenham and Chelsea suffering a 2-1 loss against Aston Villa, the Reds jumped ahead of them on the final day.

Mane looked to have got his mojo back (a bit too late) in front of fans at Anfield in a must-win game that also saw Gini Wijnaldum bidding farewell to the fans.

The Dutchman got a great send-off and a guard of honour from his teammates, as he ends a memorable chapter of his life at Merseyside.

He has been a massive player for Jurgen Klopp’s side, and the Dutchman has played a huge role in Liverpool’s great success in recent years.

The summer would be pivotal, where Klopp would be looking for a rebuilding process. But one can’t help but wonder – how on earth did they manage to finish third?

Losing Virgil van Dijk, and then two other senior defenders for the rest of the season, missing the likes of Naby Keita, Diogo Jota, Jordan Henderson and James Milner for a big part of the campaign, missing two January signings through injury at a time when they needed them (at least one of them) – the task was never easy.

It was also a campaign that saw Trent Alexander-Arnold struggling for form in the first half, one that could cost his place in the England squad for the Euro, Roberto Firmino being below par and Alisson Becker making a series of howlers costing Liverpool precious points.

And yet, it was a great fightback when the odds were against them, after Liverpool lost six games in a row at Anfield, dropped points against Newcastle, and top-four hopes were slipping away.

Mohamed Salah’s phenomenal campaign, Alisson’s header deep in injury time, Thiago Alcantara’s majestic displays when he really mattered, Wijnaldum’s consistency, Firmino’s returning to form — clicked somehow and Liverpool accomplished what seemed at one point – mission impossible.

Source: English Premier League –