Free match highlights and report as Sadio Mane strikes in both halves to secure third-placed finish and Champions League football for Liverpool; Mohamed Salah misses out on Golden Boot to Harry Kane; Roy Hodgson bows out as Crystal Palace manager with defeat at Anfield
Sunday 23 May 2021 18:13, UK
Sadio Mane scored twice as Liverpool sealed a third-placed finish and Champions League football with a 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace in front of 10,000 fans at Anfield on the final day of the season.
Liverpool started the final day fourth in the table and knew victory would all-but secure another season in Europe’s elite club competition.
There were nerves early on, as Crystal Palace threatened through Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend, and top-four rivals Leicester took the lead against Tottenham to knock the Reds down into fifth spot, but Liverpool roared to an imperious victory.
Mane bundled in his first on 36 minutes as Liverpool took a deserved lead after spurning a host of gilt-edged opportunities and added a second 16 minutes from time to wrap up a vital three points for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
The only negative from a Liverpool perspective was that Mohamed Salah failed to get on the scoresheet as he missed out on the Golden Boot to Harry Kane, but that did little to subside the carnival atmosphere inside Anfield, which had an emotional end as fan-favourite Georginio Wijnaldum looked to bid the club farewell.
For Roy Hodgson and Crystal Palace, there was to be no fairy-tale ending to his four-year stint at the club as he failed to gate-crash his former employers’ top-four hopes in his final game in charge of the Eagles, who ended the campaign in 14th place.
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What’s next? Euros, transfer window, 2021/22 key dates
Euro 2020 kicks off on Friday June 11 – just 19 days after the conclusion of the 2020/21 Premier League season – and runs until Sunday July 11.
The 2021/22 Premier League campaign will start on the weekend of Saturday August 14 – 34 days after that Euro 2020 final at Wembley.
Clubs will be able to start planning for the new term when the top-flight fixtures are released at 9am on Wednesday, June 16 but transfer business can start in earnest before then, with the summer transfer window opening on Wednesday June 9.
- 2021/22 season – all the key dates
- 2021/22 fixture release dates
- Summer transfer window 2021 – what you need to know
- Premier League kits for 2021/22
- Euro 2020 – full fixtures and schedule
The 2021/22 Championship season begins a week before the top-flight one on the weekend of Saturday August 7. All Sky Bet EFL fixtures will be announced at 9am on Thursday June 24.
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