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Next five Liverpool fixtures as Man United storm to be unleashed on Man City in top-four assault



Liverpool made the statement of all statements by beating Manchester United 7-0. This is the perfect setup for a critical five match run with Manchester City.

Liverpool are fighting for their lives in the race for the top four. This is worth mentioning right from the start, as it’s very hard to remember after a 7-0 dunk by a Manchester United side who have just won a cup and been punted for the title in some quarters.

It felt like the performance of a team at its peak, not one that was constantly scrutinized as they tumbled off the edge of an abyss together. It was a vindication for Jurgen Klopp, who knew success always lay with his players.

And yet, even if it doesn’t seem fair, it was only worth three points. It will not escape Liverpool that this must be a stepping stone, otherwise it will be nothing more than an isolated – albeit brilliant – story. And it turns out the next five games will be a crucial reckoning with Manchester City and Arsenal looking to push this revival to the limit.

One thing is certain. If Liverpool can pull off even half of the penalty they handed Manchester United against any of their opponents for the rest of the season, they’ll be galloping into the Champions League places. Some may even look to Real Madrid’s second leg with a renewed sense of hope.

But realistically, everyone is still ready to fight. And while every game from now on is crucial, the next five in particular could provide a much clearer picture of where Liverpool could end up at the end of the season.

The next matches will be divided in two by the approaching international break. It appears Liverpool will be out for 17 days, with the Fulham match postponed following the London side’s progress in the FA Cup. Before that long break, however, Klopp’s side will face Bournemouth and then Real Madrid.

It is clear that it is vital that Liverpool deliver all three points against Bournemouth. But Arsenal have just shown clearly how much threat cherries can pose – and it is no longer Klopp’s men who alone can claim the label of ‘minded monsters’. You can’t rely on winners in the 97th minute. As for the Champions League clash, it’s a small free kick considering qualifying from here would be borderline a miracle. But Liverpool can forget all about it knowing that a long break awaits them: whatever the result, it should serve as a reset.

It’s a brutal run after the break, with Liverpool visiting Manchester City and Chelsea before hosting Arsenal. The only advantage of a run in the top 4 is that rivals risk losing more points: near-perfection is no longer the only acceptable outcome for the club to achieve its current goals.

However, a victory against Graham Potter’s struggling team is more or less important and points from at least one of the other two fights also seem necessary. And after Manchester United’s mauling, the Reds look to this triple header and aim for nine points.

Liverpool can also take heart from having already beaten Manchester City twice. He has also pushed Arsenal quite close, generally with slightly better performances in the biggest games, with Manchester United being the definitive example. Coming out of this race relatively unscathed would be a huge psychological break-in boost.

On the other hand, poor results in all three matches, almost certainly due to a Champions League contusion, would likely be the nail in the coffin all season. Liverpool gained their huge momentum from Manchester United; now he has to ensure Manchester City and teammates don’t punch him for the next five games.

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