‘That was it’ – Neville pinpoints end of Liverpool title challenge
Gary Neville says Liverpool deserve “real credit” for their third-place finish and pinpointed the moment their Premier League title challenge ended.
The Reds’ 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Sunday secured Champions League football for next season, a target which looked very unlikely at one stage.
Sadio Mane scored a brace to extend their unbeaten run at the end of the season to ten games.
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Neville was shocked by their third-placed finish and praised their dramatic turnaround.
“Have they finished third? How’s that happened?!” the former Manchester United defender said when shown the final league table.
“It is (an amazing achievement). I know I was joking then but honestly.
And Neville claimed Liverpool never had a chance once they had lost Virgil van Dijk to injury.
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“Losing Van Dijk, it had a massive impact on Liverpool but it also had a massive impact on City.
“They knew Liverpool couldn’t come back from it and they knew once Liverpool were out that that was it really.
“There was no one else that was equipped to compete with them.
“So for Liverpool to come back from six home defeats on the bounce, wow. To come back the way they have, you have to give them real credit.”
While Klopp said of his side’s top four achievement: “I’m so proud of what they’ve done the last ten or 15 games and the reaction of the team in bad times.
“Eight wins out of ten, two draws… that’s impressive. Energy makes all the difference and we got a lot of energy from [the fans].
“It was not our year for the championship but I’m really happy with third place.
“Outstanding, best I could’ve dreamt of – we wanted this feeling, this game, this atmospere.
“Finishing the season in third is incredible, I can’t believe it – credit to the boys I can’t believe how it worked out in the last few weeks, incredible.
“Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips are both cut up and stitched, Rhys hasn’t trained for three days, Gini Wijnaldum leaving the club and we all love him to bits.
“We will miss him so much, with football it’s normal that people leave, but I will miss him so much.”