Mohamed Salah has said it is "too soon" for a message of positivity after Liverpool's failure to qualify for the Champions League was confirmed.

Jurgen Klopp's side still had an outside shot at a top four finish before rivals Manchester United took on Chelsea on Thursday night. However, a 4-1 win for United ensured Liverpool cannot catch them and finish in the Premier League's top four.

"I’m totally devastated," Salah wrote on social media. "There’s absolutely no excuse for this. We had everything we needed to make it to next year’s Champions League and we failed. We are Liverpool and qualifying to the competition is the bare minimum. I am sorry but it’s too soon for an uplifting or optimistic post. We let you and ourselves down."

After a slow start and some poor form on the road, Liverpool attempted to claw their way back into Champions League contention with a late-season run. Klopp's team are unbeaten in their last 10 games, winning seven and drawing three, but left themselves with too much work to do.

The Reds' last game saw them fail to put the pressure on their rivals, as they could only draw 1-1 with Aston Villa. Their failure to beat Unai Emery's side meant Man Utd and Newcastle both knew a point from their respective games in hand would ensure Champions League football.

Newcastle claimed a goalless draw with Leicester on Monday to get their part of the job done. Man Utd went one better, though, with two goals in each half helping them win 4-1 against Chelsea at Old Trafford.

"Frustrating wherever you sit," Klopp said after the draw with Aston Villa. Jacob Ramsey had put Unai Emery's side in front, and a late equaliser from Roberto Firmino - in his final Anfield appearance before his summer exit - was too little, too late.

"We made it a proper fight - chasing the Champions League in general," the German continued. "They [the teams above] got more points. We would have loved to have made it exciting for another week but we couldn't do that.

"I asked the boys after the game, who was really, really good today? It was difficult to find one. But the character we showed was good. Aston Villa were screwed in the second half and they didn't know how to deal with it."

While Liverpool can no longer finish in the top four, they are now at least assured of a fifth-place finish. Brighton, who still had a chance to catch them going into their game in hand with Manchester City, only took a point against the champions and now sit four adrift of Klopp's men with one game left, with Liverpool travelling to bottom-of-the-league Southampton in their season finale.

2023-05-25T21:37:22Z dg43tfdfdgfd