As the season is coming to an end, each game until the end of the season is virtually a cup final for the teams fighting for titles, European places and relegation. For Liverpool, we are still fighting hard to finish 5th ahead of Tottenham so that we can clinch a place in the Europa League next season. But according to Dale Johnson at ESPN, Liverpool could finish 6th and still clinch a slot in the Europe League. This is how Dale explains it:
Prior to 2009, FA Cup runners-up would automatically enter the UEFA Cup when the FA Cup winners were already in Europe by any route. Now the Wembley losers only play in the Europa League if they have lost to a team which has qualified for the Champions League.
Rule 2.0.4 of the Europa League has left plenty confused. On Monday the Premier League appeared to be unaware of the rule when it initially suggested Stoke would be in Europe, which was then contradicted by the Football Association. But now those in the corridors of power have conceded that European qualification is no longer quite so simple.
However, the new UEFA rule gives them (Liverpool) a lifeline, because if Man City win the FA Cup and finish fifth then sixth place in the Premier League will earn a Europa League place.
So in a nutshell we have to hope that Manchester City win the FA Cup and that Tottenham finish fourth, ahead of Manchester City.
I have never been a fan of qualifying or winning things based on technicalities. It is best if we just aim to finish 5th and know that we will be in Europe next season regardless of what other teams around us do.