Liverpool are not going to “be silly” by presuming they will easily beat Middlesbrough to secure a Champions League return, says boss Jurgen Klopp.
The Reds are guaranteed a top-four spot if they beat already-relegated Boro at Anfield in next Sunday’s final game.
Fifth-placed Arsenal, who have a game in hand, are four points behind them.
“I’ve been in the business long enough to know the biggest mistake is counting points before you have them,” Klopp said after the 4-0 win at West Ham.
“We won’t do this. The first sentence the boys said in the dressing room – and I didn’t have to say it – was ‘one more game’. We want this Champions League position.”
Liverpool are aiming to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in three seasons during Klopp’s first full campaign.
The German, 49, replaced the sacked Brendan Rodgers in October 2015, going on to lead the Reds to an eighth-placed finish last season.
Before Sunday’s trip to London Stadium, Liverpool knew they could not be overhauled in the top four if they won both of their final two games.
And they responded with a thumping victory as two goals from Philippe Coutinho and strikes by Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi saw off the Hammers.
However, the Reds will clinch a top-four spot before Boro’s visit if Arsenal lose at home to relegated Sunderland on Tuesday.
“Middlesbrough have nothing to lose but we have everything to lose,” added former Borussia Dortmund manager Klopp.
“We have always known we will have to go until the end of the season, that is no problem for us.
“If we win we deserve to be in the Champions League. If not, we don’t deserve it.
“We found a good mood against West Ham and if we find it in the next game then we have a good chance. But counting points in the next game is really silly, we won’t do this.”
Liverpool love the capital – stats you need to know
- Liverpool have now won at 52 different grounds in the Premier League, more than any other side in the competition (Arsenal and Manchester United next on 50).
- West Ham suffered their joint-worst home defeat in the Premier League, losing by a four-goal margin for the third time this season (also 1-5 v Arsenal and 0-4 v Manchester City).
- The Reds have won four of five four Premier League games in London this season (drew one), going unbeaten in the capital across an entire league season for the first time since in 1988-89.
- This is the first time since 1998-99 that the Hammers have conceded four or more goals in four different home games in a single league season.
- Philippe Coutinho was directly involved in three goals in a single game for Liverpool for the first time (two goals and one assist).
- All three of Philippe Coutinho’s Premier League braces have come in London (also v Chelsea in Oct 2015 and Arsenal in Aug 2016).
- Liverpool’s 11 shots on target were the most that West Ham have faced in a Premier League game this season and the most since November 2015 (v Tottenham, 12).