While Spurs’ Champions League spot was already confirmed, Liverpool only secured their place in Europe’s elite competition on the final day.
Liverpool beat already relegated Boro 3-0 thanks to goals from Gigi Wijnaldum, a trademark free-kick from Philippe Coutinho with Adam Lallana completing the rout. The final day victory saw them pip Arsenal to fourth spot.
The Gunners gave the Liverpool faithfuls a scare after racing to a 2-0 lead before Wijnaldum struck. Though his goal settled the Anfield crowd as they eventually earned the win.
Liverpool return to the Champions League for the first time since 2014, having won the coveted European trophy an impressive five times.
Spurs’ runners-up finish sees them automatically enter the competition while Liverpool will have to contest a qualification play-off to ensure their spot amongst Europe’s finest.
Mauricio Pochettino endured a miserable Champions League after finishing third in Group E behind AS Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen, which saw them advance to the Europa League, though they eventually got dumped out by Anderlecht.
Should they successfully qualify, both Premier League clubs will be placed in pot 3 alongside Napoli, FC Basel, Dynamo Kiev, Ajax, Olympiakos and Anderlecht,
Again, some of those teams still have to earn qualification.
Unless Ajax win the Europa League on Wednesday. A win over Manchester United would see Spurs enter the Champions League in pot 2.
— Martyn Ziegler (@martynziegler) May 22, 2017
But a ‘Group of Death’ awaits them. A potential group could be Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Spurs or Liverpool and AS Roma. Holy shit.
On paper, the least hardest group would be Benfica – because you wouldn’t want a travel to Russia in November – FC Porto and Celtic. Sound right?
Obviously, there is still a lot of permutations to be played out. From the Europa League final to the Champions League play-offs.