Liverpool top four hopes hit despite late equaliser, Everton grab vital point

London: Roberto Firmino scored a late equaliser in his last home game for Liverpool to salvage a 1-1 draw for his side against Aston Villa that just about kept their hopes of a Premier League top-four finish alive on Saturday.

Liverpool had won seven games in succession to make a late run for Champions League qualification but defeat by Villa would have guaranteed that Newcastle United and Manchester United finish in the top four.

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, left and Aston Villa’s Ashley Young battle for the ball.

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, left and Aston Villa’s Ashley Young battle for the ball.Credit:

While Liverpool’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League look slender, Merseyside neighbours Everton are fighting for their top-flight lives after a 69-year stay as Yerry Mina secured them a point at Wolverhampton Wanderers with an equaliser in the ninth minute of stoppage time.

Everton were headed for damaging defeat as they trailed to a Hwang Hee-chan goal at Molineux but Mina’s goal lifted them two points clear of the relegation zone with one game left.

The two sides immediately below them – Leeds United and Leicester City – would both move above Everton if they win their next games, but whatever happens the relegation battle will go down to next Sunday’s season finale.

In the day’s final fixture Arsenal must avoid defeat at Nottingham Forest to stop Manchester City being crowned champions ahead of their home game against Chelsea on Sunday.

Forest would secure safety with a win.

Villa led at Anfield thanks to Jacob Ramsey’s headed goal in the 27th minute, five minutes after they had squandered the chance to open the scoring when Ollie Watkins missed a penalty.

Liverpool’s top-four hopes looked over with Manchester United winning at Bournemouth, but Brazilian Firmino, making his Anfield farewell after eight glorious seasons, struck an equaliser in the 89th minute after coming off the bench.

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