Liverpool shattered Tottenham’s hopes of finishing in the Premier League’s top four with a 4-2 win that left Aston Villa on the brink of Champions League qualification despite their 1-0 defeat at Brighton on Sunday.

Needing a win at Anfield to close the gap on fourth-placed Villa, Tottenham slumped to a fourth successive loss to leave their Champions League hopes in tatters.

Villa are seven points ahead of fifth-placed Tottenham, who have a game in hand but will miss out on the top four if Unai Emery’s men win one of their remaining two matches.

Mohamed Salah was back in the Liverpool team after being dropped for last weekend’s draw at West Ham.

The Egypt forward had argued with Klopp before being introduced as a substitute at the London Stadium and fanned the flames afterwards when he said there would be “fire” if he spoke about the clash.

Klopp, in the final weeks of his nine-year reign, was celebrating in the 16th minute when Salah notched his 25th goal in all competitions this term with a clinical header from Cody Gakpo’s cross.

Andrew Robertson scored Liverpool’s second on the stroke of half-time as the Scotland left-back finished from close-range after Salah’s shot was saved by Guglielmo Vicario.

There was worse to come for woeful Tottenham as Gakpo headed in a 50th-minute cross from Harvey Elliott, who netted the fourth in the 59th minute with a superb curler from 20 yards.

It was little consolation for Tottenham that Richarlison reduced the deficit in the 72nd minute before setting up Son Heung-min’s goal five minutes later.

Third-placed Liverpool’s first victory in three league games kept them in mathematical contention to win the title, but in truth they have little chance, with leaders Arsenal five points ahead with only two games left.

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