Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah said he is “devastated” the club have missed out on a spot in next season’s Champions League and added “there’s absolutely no excuse for this”.
Salah posted his comments on social media shortly after Liverpool’s failure to finish in the top four was confirmed by Manchester United beating Chelsea.
Liverpool will finish fifth and play in next season’s Europa League.
“We let you [fans] and ourselves down,” said Egypt international Salah, 30.
Liverpool won seven of their past eight games in a late push for fourth place but, ultimately, could not make up for their inconsistent form for much of the season before that run.
United only needed a point at home to Chelsea in the penultimate game of their season to confirm their Champions League place and join champions Manchester City, second-placed Arsenal and Newcastle United as England’s contingent in Europe’s top competition next season.
“We had everything we needed to make it to next year’s Champions League and we failed,” said Salah, who was part of the Liverpool team that won the tournament in 2018-19 and lost last year’s final to Real Madrid.
“We are Liverpool and qualifying to the competition is the bare minimum.
“I am sorry but it’s too soon for an uplifting or optimistic post.”
Liverpool started the campaign off promisingly by beating Manchester City in the Community Shield but then won only two of their opening eight Premier League games.
They struggled away from home in the top flight before their recent upturn in form, with three of their eight away defeats coming at relegation-battling Nottingham Forest, Wolves and Bournemouth, while they were only beaten by struggling Leeds United at home in the league.
Liverpool were comfortably beaten by Real Madrid in the last 16 of this season’s Champions League, while they went out at the fourth-round stage of both the FA Cup and League Cup to Brighton and Manchester City respectively.
Salah, who signed a lucrative new three-year contract with Liverpool last summer, has scored 19 league goals this season, with six coming in 14 games before the 2022 World Cup and 13 in 23 games following the tournament.