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Liverpool to be seeded for Champions League play-off after final day victory

Date Posted,May 20, 2017

Liverpool will be seeded for the Champions League play-off.

The Reds needed a win against Middlesbrough on the final day and started nervously at Anfield.

A Georginio Wijnaldum strike calmed them down before the break and Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana wrapped it up

And other results went their way elsewhere in Europe to ensure their place among the seeded teams, reports the Liverpool Echo.

Liverpool could still have faced tough fixtures against Sevilla or even Napoli, depending on how the Serie A season finishes.

But Jurgen Klopp will avoid such an unwelcome game to make it into the Champions League.

Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho celebrates (Photo: REUTERS)
Adam Lallana wraps up the win (Photo: Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

They enter in the non-champions section of the play-off draw, which includes five seeded teams and five non-seeded teams.

Had Borussia Dortmund dropped into fourth in the Bundesliga on Saturday or Zenit St Petersburg had jumped above CSKA Moscow in the Russian Premier League, Liverpool faced being unseeded.

Dortmund needed an 89th minute winner in a thrilling 4-3 final day victory over Werder Bremen which meant they qualified automatically for the Champions League group stage and couldn’t usurp the Reds as a seeded team in the play-off.

CSKA Moscow won 4-0 against Anzi Makhachkala earlier today which meant Zenit could not jump above them into second place in the table, despite winning 2-0 at Lokomotiv Moscow.

Liverpool’s players celebrate (Photo: Jan Kruger)
Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool celebrates (Photo: Getty)

It meant CSKA go into the Champions League third qualifying round while Zenit have to content themselves with going into the Europa League third qualifying round.

Zenit had a higher coefficient than Liverpool, whereas CSKA did not, so the latter team can’t replace Liverpool in the seeded teams.

It means, of the teams who could potentially be in the play-off qualifying round, only Sevilla, Napoli, Ajax and Dynamo Kiev can be above the Reds – putting them fifth-highest, and therefore a seed for the draw.

Ajax may yet qualify for the Champions League group stages outright by beating Manchester United in the Europa League final on Wednesday.

Teams the Reds could face include Sporting Lisbon and Hoffenheim, who have already secured their spot in the fourth qualifying round.

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