Liverpool star Mohammed Salah says he is “totally devastated” after the Reds missed out on Champions League football for the first time in six years.
Manchester United moved to third in the table with a comfortable home win over Chelsea on Thursday night and the three points put them out of reach of Liverpool with one game remaining.
After Newcastle United’s 0-0 draw with Leicester City on Monday night, Liverpool’s only hope of securing a top-four spot lay in Man United losing their final two games, with the Reds also needing to win at Southampton on Sunday.
However, Erik ten Hag’s side secured their return to the Champions League in convincing fashion against Chelsea who were handed an eighth loss in 10 games under Frank Lampard.
With Jurgen Klopp’s side four points clear of Brighton in sixth, they are guaranteed to finish fifth. Salah admitted securing a top-four spot should be the “bare minimum” for Liverpool as a strong run of form to end the season failed to mask a mediocre campaign for the club.
“I’m totally devastated. There’s absolutely no excuse for this. We had everything we needed to make it to next year’s Champions League and we failed,” said Salah.
“We are Liverpool and qualifying to the competition is the bare minimum. I am sorry but it’s too soon for an uplifting or optimistic post. We let you and ourselves down.”
Liverpool will compete in the Europa League next term, with the final set to be played in Dublin. Salah has enjoyed an impressive season on an individual front, scoring 30 goals and has become the first player in Premier League history to provide 20 goals and 10 assists in three seasons.
He needs one goal against Southampton to hit 20 league goals for the fifth time in six years since joining Liverpool. In Liverpool’s 7-0 triumph over Man United at Anfield, Salah become the club’s all-time leading scorer in the Premier League.