Chelsea closes on top four with win over Liverpool

Olivier Giroud

With two games remaining to Liverpool's one, Chelsea can put pressure on the Champions League finalists with victory against Huddersfield on Wednesday, although given their superior goal difference the Reds would nearly certainly ensure a top-four finish with victory at home to Brighton on the final day.

Frenchman Giroud headed what proved to be the winning goal in the 32nd minute, meaning the striker has now scored 17 league goals with his head since the start of 2015-16, more than any other player in Europe's top five leagues.

The Italian said: 'One month ago it was impossible to imagine we'd arrive at the end to fight for a place in the Champions League. Our future is not in our hands, but we have to try to keep the pressure on.

Liverpool face Real Madrid in the Champions League final and could also qualify for next season's competition as winners.

"We are still alive, we are kicking and we take it to Wednesday night, but don't forget Huddersfield did take a point at Manchester City and then we go to Newcastle".

Victory against the Seagulls next Sunday would secure Liverpool (72 points, plus 42) a top-four place, even if only on goal difference, whatever their London rivals do from here on in.

"It was a must-win game but not with a simple opponent".

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp warned Mohamed Salah not to resort to diving but backed the Egyptian to rediscover his scoring touch ahead of the Champions League final. "Usually when you have to play a must-win game, it's not easy".

I think it was a dive.

Klopp's side fell behind to an Olivier Giroud goal but going behind did not help the Reds at all as they lacked the intensity to get them back into the game.

But somewhat against the run of play, Giroud climbed highest to nod home Victor Moses' cross and give Chelsea the lead.

"That's not what I want to see and not what he wants to do", he said. That doesn't sound like a holiday to me. "I'm not sure", Klopp said.

Liverpool nearly found an equaliser late on, but substitute Dominic Solanke could only manage to head over.

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