Liverpool already sure of place in 2020-21 Champions League
LONDON – Reigning European champions Liverpool have mathematically become the first team to qualify for next season's UEFA Champions League in 2020-21.
The runaway Premier League leaders have cemented their place by amassing 76 points - a European record after 26 league games - and Chelsea's 2-0 defeat at home to Manchester United on Monday evening has confirmed qualification.
Liverpool had theoretically qualified with their 1-0 over Norwich on Saturday as Manchester City have been given a two-year suspension from the competition for breaking financial fair play.
That means the final Champions League spot will be handed to the team in fifth place in the table, if City's suspension is upheld on appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Chelsea's defeat, however, means Juergen Klopp's side is guaranteed a top-four finish.
Liverpool are 36 points above fifth-placed Tottenham with 12 games remaining, and 35 ahead of Chelsea.
Tottenham play Chelsea on Saturday and even if they won all their remaining games and Liverpool lose all theirs, Chelsea would only be able to reach 74 points.
Liverpool have played in the last two Champions League finals and resume their campaign for a third in the last-16 round on Tuesday at Atletico Madrid.DPA