Manchester United must beat Liverpool, admits Van Gaal

The Dutchman believes that the Premier League top-four race will go down to the wire but thinks victory over the Merseysiders on Sunday would strike a crucial blow

Beating Liverpool at Anfield would bring Manchester United a lot closer to finishing in the top four, admits Louis van Gaal.

Fourth-placed United lead their bitter rivals by two points heading into Sunday’s clash, having emerged 3-0 winners when the two sides met at Old Trafford back in December.

Liverpool have enjoyed a 13-game unbeaten run in the Premier League since that defeat and Van Gaal knows ending the Merseysiders’ streak would go a long way towards consolidating United’s return to the Champions League next season.

“It [the race for the top four] shall last to the end,” the Dutchman told reporters.

“But a win helps – and it helps a lot. It helps to continue for Manchester United because after a victory you need another victory to confirm what you have done against Tottenham.

“It is always about the next game because Manchester United is not in a moment that we can say a victory or loss doesn’t matter. We have to win and also after the game against Liverpool we have to win otherwise it shall be for nothing the victory against Liverpool.

“The Spurs result (United won 3-0) could be the ‘major’ one we have been looking for but then we have to continue and then we have to confirm against Liverpool the display against Tottenham because when we can confirm it then we show that we are there maybe.

“But its the most difficult ground for Manchester United I believe I have heard. It is not a very easy ground for United that’s true so – but now I’m the manager here maybe we can change that.

“When we play like we have played against Tottenham then we have a great possibility to win.”

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