After a much needed midweek win against Wolves during the midweek, Liverpool’s attentions turn to their grudge match against title contenders Manchester United this weekend. We sat down with Liverpool icon John Barnes to discuss Liverpool’s recent form and whether a top four finish is still within their grasp.
Liverpool Vs Manchester United face up in Anfield showdown
Following on from a disappointing 0-0 draw with a struggling Crystal Palace team Liverpool needed a response against Wolves. And respond they did. Goals from Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah late in the second half earned Liverpool three vital points. Next up for Liverpool is a Manchester United side fresh off the back of their Carabao Cup victory and 3-1 triumph against West Ham in the FA Cup. Barnes is wary of the threat this in-form Manchester United team could pose.
“It was a much needed victory because we’ve got Manchester United this weekend and it’s probably the most worried I’ve been facing them, home or away in the last few years, cause they’re doing really well.”
“First half was a bit flat. The crowd was a bit quiet.”
“Second half, the disallowed goal probably sparked us into a bit of an intense way of playing that we’re used to. We scored soon after that.”
“We saw a bit of the old Liverpool. Not to say that we’re back because of course, we’re still a bit inconsistent. But, it was a well-needed win and performance, particularly, in the second half, with the Man Utd game coming up.”
Will Liverpool be playing Champions League football next season?
Liverpool now move up to sixth in the Premier League, six points behind fourth-place Tottenham with a game in hand. Barnes believes that whilst a top three finish is almost impossible for Liverpool, a fourth place finish and a passage into the Champions League is still attainable.
“Well people talk about top four, and I’ve said this every single year, depending on who you are, top four, for certain teams, probably means fourth.”
“For Liverpool this season, that’s probably what it’s going to be.”
“Top two it’s gonna be Man City or Arsenal and Man Utd are pushing for the third spot.”
“So Champions League is what we’re after and I think if you look at the way other teams have been inconsistent, as well as us, we have to hope we can get fourth.”
Mohammed Salah scores 20 goals for six consecutive seasons
Mo Salah has now scored 20 goals in six consecutive seasons for Liverpool. Whilst Barnes is delighted for Salah and believes that record is an incredible feat, he would rather Liverpool were in one of the highly coveted top four positions. Even if it meant Salah scored fewer goals.
“It’s a fantastic feat but what’s more important is the team. As much as he’s scored 20 goals, we are still not in the top four.”
“I’d much rather Mo score less goals and us win matches and be in the top four than Mo scoring 30 goals and us not being in the top four. And Mo understands that.”
“But yeah in terms of his numbers, they’ve been incredible.”
“As much as this has been, probably his least consistent season, he’s still managed to score so many goals. He’s fantastic.”