Liverpool strengthened their chances of a Champions League place at the expense of Arsenal with a comprehensive 4-0 Premier League thrashing of West Ham United at the London Stadium on Sunday.
Liverpool’s hopes of a place in Europe’s elite club competition would have suffered a setback if they had lost or drawn with the home side as Arsenal in fifth place are just a point behind with 69 points.
However Daniel Sturridge, Phillipe Coutinho (brace) and Divock Origi’s goals ensured Jurgen Klopp’s team now have 73 points and only require to defeat Middlesbrough on the last day of the season to claim a top four position in the league.
Daniel Sturridge was a fraction offside after a good pass from James Milner in the 16th minute with the England striker a constant threat for the Hammers going forward.
Sturridge’s endeavour paid off in the 35th minute. The striker received a great pass from Coutinho and went round the keeper, Adrián San Miguel, to put Liverpool ahead.
With a minute left on the clock in the first half, West Ham’s Andre Ayew failed to score from inside the six-yard box as his rebound hit the right-hand post.
Countinho fired the Reds into a 2-0 lead in the 57th minute with a low shot from just outside the box.
Wijnaldum had just hit the crossbar with a fierce shot and the resultant clearance by Winsotn Reid fell to the Brazilian.
The day got worse for West Ham and potentially for Arsenal when Countinho scored his second of the day in the 62nd minute as he wriggled his way through the West Ham United defence and hit the ball into the back of net to make 3-0 for Liverpool.
Divok Origi scored the fourth for the Reds after attempts by Coutinho and Adam Lallana. But the Belgian frustrated teammate Daniel Sturridge soon afterwards when he should have passed to him but selfishly shot tamely.
In the 84th minute Robert Snodgrass fired a good shot seven minutes after his introduction but the ball went just wide of the right post.