Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is delighted at the manner his side reacted to the pressure of qualifying for next season’s UEFA Champions League competition.
The Reds defeated Brighton 4-0 to seal fourth spot in the English Premier League table.
Goals from Mohamed Salah, Dejan Louvren, Dominic Solanke and Andy Robertson sealed a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League.
“The boys had pressure on them, massive for the last few weeks, it is fantastic to qualify this year. It’s a massive achievement,” Klopp told the BBC after his side’s win over Brighton.
“We did it in an impressive manner. We tried to win the game from the first second. A point was enough but I have no real idea how to go for a point. We could have scored many more but I’m glad we didn’t, Brighton did not deserve that after a really good season.
“What the boys did this season was unbelievable. We missed Adam Lallana for the whole year and I can’t believe we have achieved this without him.
“I’m really proud of the boys, a nearly perfect season. We had no chance to challenge Man City so the only thing you can go for is a Champions League spot. It is a big thing.
“We had a few more chances today, it’s fantastic that Mo Salah could break the record and Dom and Robertson could score. It’s hard to be a young player in this fantastic side, Solanke has struggled a bit but he has shown up today. I’m really happy for him.”
Klopp also allayed fears on James Milner’s availability for the UEFA Champions League final in two weeks’ time.
“James Milner will be fine, just today was a bit early for him. Two weeks break is perfect for us. We will be ready for the final, now I am really looking forward to it. We couldn’t think about it as long as we are not in the Champions League next year,” Klopp added.
“This group of players really deserve it. They keep moving to the next level.”
On Mohamed Salah’s record breaking season the German tactician said: “I had no clue about the record [Salah’s 32 goals], I took him off and then I heard that Tottenham had scored five – Harry Kane could have got them all!
“He has been brilliant, and he can improve so much. He will score in the future, 100%.
“When everyone tells you you are fantastic all season it is hard to stay on track so I am pleased with Mo Salah. Congratulations to Man City, it is incredible to get 100 points, thoroughly deserved. We need more consistency to challenge and a little bit more luck with injuries.
“But we have got a lot of experience from this season. We have matured and we will do that again. In our good moments it is not easy to play better football. We will add to the squad, we need more players but I’m a big believer in developing the team. These boys made a big step.”