Moments that made Liverpool's season

Moments that made Liverpool's season

Liverpool clinched top four by beating Middlesbrough, but at times it looked like it could have been much better, or worse.

Oliver Emmerson

Liverpool put the finishing touches on an impressive first full season under Jürgen Klopp by beating Middlesbrough 3-0 at Anfield on Sunday.

Georginio Wijnaldum scored the first before Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana got in on the act as the Reds swept to three points following a nervy start.

The win secured fourth place for the Reds, and therefore a place in the Champions League play-off come August, finishing ahead of Manchester United and Arsenal.

All in all, it represented healthy progress over the last 12 months under Klopp, giving the red half of Merseyside much to look forward to ahead of next season.

However, looking back for a moment, what were the moments that made Liverpool's topsy-turvy season what it was?

20 minutes against the Gunners 

Liverpool found stunning form against their fellow top six teams this season, especially in London.

However, it didn't look as if it was going to be that way, as they creeped to half-time on the opening day 1-0 down against Arsenal, with Alberto Moreno suffering a nightmare at left-back.

Suddenly though, everything changed. Philippe Coutinho curled in a magnificent free-kick on the stroke of half-time, before three quickfire second-half goals secured the win, despite a late Arsenal fightback.

The game unleashed Liverpool's tasty attack on the league at an early stage, also gathering what would prove to be three vital points when it came to the final league table. 

Opening of the Main Stand

Four points from the opening three games became seven from four as Liverpool kicked off a glittering Autumn of home form by winning convincingly against Leicester City in their first game at Anfield, opening the new Main Stand in a fitting way. 

The iconic image of that game is Sadio Mane running off in celebration alongside the stand after dinking the ball over Kasper Schmeichel, whilst Liverpool recovered from a Lucas howler to seal a 4-1 win. 

Bournemouth collapse 

Title ambitions were quashed at Bournemouth as the Christmas countdown began, Liverpool throwing away a healthy lead in the second-half to lose 4-3.

Having been 3-1 up, the Reds (or Toxic's) completely lost their cool, Loris Karius spilling a last minute shot to allow Chelsea loanee Nathan Ake to tap home, sending the Vitality Stadium wild.

Klopp's men would drop points at home to West Ham a few days later, Karius again at fault, meaning that title talk was put on hold for a while, many worrying that the mental instability that had plagued the Reds in Basel months before had failed to clear. 

Mane magic at Goodison

An impressive start by the highly rated Ronald Koeman had led to talk of a power shift on Merseyside, one that may have been signalled if Everton had managed to beat their bitter rivals for the first time in years. 

A strong start by the home side had the crowd going strong, only for the game to dissipate into a fairly mediocre affair, destined for a draw.

Sadio Mane had other ideas, latching onto a wayward Daniel Sturridge shot that had struck the post in stoppage time, stuffing the ball home an provoking mass celebrations in the away end.

It was a bitter blow for the Blues, one that they never really recovered from in terms of their top four chase. 

Swansea home mess 

Wins over the Christmas period had reignited talk of a title challenge despite Chelsea's mammoth winning run, with Mane's departure for the African Cup of Nations expected to be a real challenge for Liverpool.

It proved to be so. 

A draw at Sunderland, with Mane, and then poor performances and results against Southampton and Plymouth had led to concerns and a breakway from the league leaders, but it was a damaging home defeat to Swansea City that did the biggest damage and killed off any title hopes. 

Fernando Llorente terrorised the Liverpool defence, scoring a brace and securing a shock 3-2 win for the relegation threatened Swans, sending Chelsea into a double digit lead over the Reds. 

Firmino at Stoke 

With Mane and Jordan Henderson both sidelined as Liverpool's top four battle began to really heat up, Klopp shocked fans by handing Ben Woodburn and Trent Alexander-Arnold starts away at Stoke City, citing that Firmino and Coutinho were too tired after a gruelling schedule. 

With the Reds playing poorly and 1-0 down at half-time, the Brazilian pair were summoned on and celebrated as Coutinho levelled up shortly after.

It was Firmino though who stole the headlines, putting life back in the top four charge as he thumped an outrageous half-volley past Lee Grant, giving Liverpool the win having been picked out by Wijnaldum. 

Can at Watford 

The Stoke win set off Liverpool on a run that would see them win their final four away games, the penultimate one of them being a must win clash at Watford

Liverpool, as was becoming a recurring theme in the second-half of the season, were struggling to set the world alight and risked handing Arsenal and Manchester United a huge advantage in the top four race.

Up stepped Emre Can. Rather, up leapt Emre Can. Defying physical logic to rise brilliantly and perform an extraordinary overhead kick off Lucas' pass, the away end watched on with glee as the ball flew into the net, Can's goal of the season being a huge factor in getting Liverpool over the line.