Jermaine Jenas and Jeff Stelling disagree over Liverpool ‘achievement’ after Aston Villa draw

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Pundits have been discussing Liverpool’s draw with Aston Villa, a result that likely ended their Champions League bid.

Jeff Stelling and Jermaine Jenas have expressed differing views on Liverpool’s shortcomings after a top four finish was all-but ruled out on Saturday.

The Reds knew they needed to beat Aston Villa at home to maintain a realistic chance of securing Champions League football for next season, but it wasn’t to be. Roberto Firmino bowed out at Anfield with an 89th minute equaliser, but with Manchester United winning at Bournemouth and with Newcastle United still to play on Monday, the draw all-but ended the Reds’ top four chances.

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Jurgen Klopp’s men are three points behind both teams, possessing a far superious goal difference to Man Utd but an inferior goal difference compared to Newcastle.

But regardless of goal difference, Man Utd and Newcastle both have two games remaining rather than the one Liverpool have to play, and the two teams need just one point from their last two games to secure a top four spot.

That means it will almost certainly be Europa League football for the Reds next season, but while some will be disappointed, Sky Sports presenter Stelling sees the bright side of the ‘achievement’ for Liverpool.

“It looks almost certain that Liverpool will have to settle for a Europa League place,” said Stelling on Soccer Saturday. “That is still an achievement considering where they have come from. And Aston Villa can still qualify for European football. That point takes them above Tottenham.”

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Meanwhile, BBC pundit Jenas was keen to point out how Liverpool have underachieved this season despite their late run, saying: “Liverpool have had a really good run at it, given that the standards they set they have fallen way below those this year. Words like re-build and signings will be thrown around but the reality is they just came up short today [and in the season].

“The rest of the teams in this good run have been down the bottom; Leeds, Leicester, Forest. They just came up against a team today in Villa that are in good form.”

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