Get in! That’s it Reds, into the Champions League and all the relief that comes with that statement.
It was nervy for a while until Roberto Firmino and Gini Wijnaldum combined for a goal. Coutinho and Lallana added more in the second-half to secure a superb end to the season. Here’s how everyone fared individually.
Simon Mignolet – 6 – Didn’t have much in the way of shots but takes a solid six after another excellent performance when it came to defending set-pieces, not letting Boro have a sniff of a chance. Seems to have nailed down a starting spot for next season.
Nathaniel Clyne – 7 – Better going forward than we’ve seen from Clyne in recent weeks, although he dragged one shot frustratingly wide early on. Solid in defence too and was quicker in thought than usual to keep the momentum alive when Liverpool were attacking.
Dejan Lovren – 4 – Sorry to be negative on a good day, but Lovren had a shocker. Bullied constantly by Rudy Gestede, not even Middlesbrough’s preferred target man. The Croatian should have been sent off and given away a penalty at 0-0 for a foul on Bamford. In fairness, that would have ended the beating Gestede was giving him. Still, a clean sheet and all.
Joel Matip – 6 – Gestede didn’t seem to bother targeting him, solid as you like and helped keep things ticking over on the ball.
James Milner – 6 – A genuinely good performance from Milner, ending the season on a high after some disappointing performances of late. Some decent crosses on his left, competent defensively and kept the concentration levels up throughout the team.
Emre Can – 6 – Not a performance where you noticed his presence all that much, but keeping control of Gestede as Lovren let him bring it down in the first half was important. Also contributed going forward and was tidy in possession.
Georginio Wijnaldum – 8 – Gini! Where’s that Gini been in recent weeks? Absolutely marvellous. Mediocre until the goal but oh, wow, that goal! The touch and finish were executed to perfection. Even picked up an assist for Lallana, adding to some impressive statistics for him this season.
Philippe Coutinho – 8 – I think it’s fair to say Liverpool would be World Cup, Eurovision and Champions League winners had Phil played deeper all season and not been injured. Superb again from deep, kept plugging away at 0-0 and did well to resist shooting on a number of occasions despite his frustration. Got his reward with that lovely free-kick to really cut all the tension loose.
Adam Lallana – 7 – Frustrating for a while, even more so when a poor pass messes up a five vs two counter. However, winning the ball back with a header seconds later, Lallana saw himself teed up by Wijnaldum to fire home a third. Was better after that, ending the game well.
Roberto Firmino – 7 – Deserved a goal. Looked to be on it from the off despite not being fit, almost finding Sturridge early on. Gorgeous flick to Wijnaldum for the opener. Playing him up front in a two, or at least in the ’10’ role, might be how to get the best out of him next season whilst keeping a more natural goalscorer in the side.
Daniel Sturridge – 7 – No goals today for Studge but again he showed what he brings to the team with his movement, dribbling and passing. The dribbling was his most important skill, as it turned out, skipping past Forshaw before being brought down, winning the free-kick which Coutinho converted.
Lucas Leiva – N/A – Love him, the big Scouser. Disappointed he didn’t SHOOOOOOOOT late on.
Divock Origi – N/A – Not actually sure what he did, but that’s fine. Will enjoy a drink tonight thinking about some crucial goals in December.
Alberto Moreno – N/A – Came on, started some beef, disappeared. Perhaps sums up his Liverpool career, one that’s expected to end soon.