Rio Ferdinand has declared that Manchester United are now ahead of Liverpool after finishing above them in the table but the former defender is glossing over the real facts.
Ferdinand told Goal: “I think in the league we’ve got what we wanted, which was an improvement.
I think Man United at the end of last season finished 30-odd points behind Liverpool. They are now behind us and they’ll have their excuses and reasons why but the cold facts are that we have gained that much ground on them that we’ve gone past them this season.
“That shows vast improvement and we’re second in the league.”
While United have improved tremendously, especially since Bruno Fernandes joined the club, it’s important to note that despite the worst injury crisis during Jurgen Klopp’s tenure as Liverpool manager, the Old Trafford side still only finished five points above them.
What’s more, they actually conceded more goals than Liverpool despite Jurgen Klopp having to play 18 different centre-back pairing this season.
Ferdinand is right – United did improve but with Ibrahima Konate’s arrival and Liverpool set to welcome back a host of injured defenders, the Anfield outfit will likely spring back above their rivals.
After losing the Europa League final to Villarreal, who finished 7th in La Liga, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s biggest achievement so far is finishing above Liverpool and that really sums up the gulf in class between the two sides.
While it was great to see Liverpool finish in third after the bleak season they endured, there is still the overarching sense of disappointment following a campaign that saw them fail to win any silverware, slip to a frustrating title defence and bow out limply in the Champions League.
Meanwhile, Manchester United are seemingly celebrating finishing five points above the Reds.
The 2021/22 season will be all about redemption for Liverpool and with the front three all heading into their 30s, it might be the last season we see them playing regularly together which gives next season a unique significance.
The major positive is that after Alisson Becker inspired his side to a third-place finish, they will be in the Champions League again and can target a seventh European Cup and snatch the title away from Chelsea who beat Manchester City in the final last week.