Liverpool beat Utd to boost CL hopes, Klopp plans Mane talks after star’s snub - GulfToday

Liverpool beat Utd to boost CL hopes, Klopp plans Mane talks after star’s snub


Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino (left) heads past Manchester United’s Dean Henderson for their second goal during their English Premier League match on Thursday. Agence France-Presse

Liverpool kept their chances of a place in next season’s Champions League in their own hands with a thrilling 4-2 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford on Thursday.

Jurgen Klopp’s men still need to win their remaining three games to guarantee a place in the Premier League’s top four, but cleared the biggest hurdle in their path with a first victory away to United since 2014.

Roberto Firmino scored twice either side of half-time after Diogo Jota cancelled out Bruno Fernandes’s early opener for the home side.

Marcus Rashford’s strike set up a grandstand finish, but Mohamed Salah secured a vital win in the final minute as Liverpool moved up to fifth in the table.

“We are still in the game, still in the race. That is all we could do tonight,” said Klopp.

“It was necessary. Without this result we don’t have to talk about it.”

The clash between English football’s two most successful clubs had been postponed 11 days ago as United fans stormed the pitch and clashed with police amid protests against the club’s owners.

A peaceful protest took place before kick-off as supporters again voiced their anger at the Glazer family. Distrust of the Americans has been reignited by United’s part in a failed European Super League (ESL) project, that collapsed within 48 hours last month due to a backlash from fans, players, governments and governing bodies.

United and Liverpool were reportedly two of the leading drivers behind the project that sought to guarantee top level European football for 15 founder members every season without the need to qualify on the pitch.

Both clubs have struggled at times in the past decade to secure the riches of Champions League football via a top-four finish in the Premier League.

United’s place in Europe’s premier club competition next season is assured, although they failed to secure second spot behind Manchester City on Thursday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made 10 changes from a 2-1 defeat to Leicester on Tuesday which sealed the title for City.

The Norwegian restored the majority of his regular starting line-up for United’s fourth game in seven days, but the presence of Harry Maguire was badly missed with the United captain sidelined by an ankle injury.

“Of course you are going to miss him, but he’s out and we’ve got to deal with that,” said Solskjaer.

“They deserved the win. We conceded goals in key moments of the game. We created our own downfall.”

Meanwhile, Liverpool boss Klopp says he will speak to Sadio Mane after the Senegal forward snubbed him following win at United.

Klopp left Mane on the bench for the first 74 minutes of the crucial Premier League clash, deciding to start Diogo Jota instead.

Following Mane’s brief substitute appearance, Klopp approached him at the final whistle to celebrate a crucial victory in the race to qualify for the Champions League.

But Mane refused to respond to the German and was caught on television walking towards the tunnel while shaking his head.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s trip to West Bromwich Albion, Klopp said he was not angry with Mane but would speak to the 29-year-old about the show of dissent.

“If somebody shows me five million times respect and one time not, what is then more important?” Klopp said on Friday.

Agence France-Presse

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