Manchester City put pressure on Liverpool in fight for third spot

Manchester City 5-0, Liverpool third spot target, Champions League place Image Courtesy:

Manchester City 5-0 thumping victory over Crystal Palace came at the right time. City needed a great victory to keep their fight for Champions League place, and third place is the only secure place, which can guarantee a direct place in Uefa Champions League group stage. Fourth place may not be valuable if Manchester United win the Europa League who have a foot in final with 1-0 victory from semifinal first leg against Celta Vigo.

David Silva returning from his injury gave City an early break in 2nd minute of the game, but Crystal kept them quite till the end of first half since then. It took an early second half goal from Captain Vincent Kompany to open the second half routing. Belgian Captain finishes brilliantly Kevin De Bruyne’s cross into the top corner.

De Bruyne who have been unlucky throughout the season hitting the post, hit the post again, but this time he was able to score as well. He scored Manchester City’s third from the edge of the box, and Raheeem Sterling & Nicolas Otamendi completed the 5-0 rout later in the game.

Liverpool now sits temporarily at fourth, but they can recover their third spot from City with a victory over Southampton on Sunday. Man City outsmarts Reds only on goal difference with the same number of games, and neither of them would like to jeopardize their place in Champions League going through play-off route.

If Manchester United didn’t finish in top four and win Europa League, they’ll take the fourth spot as direct qualifier and team finishing fourth will have to face play-off to qualify into group stage. Manchester City reaches this season Champions League group stage through qualifier route after finishing fourth last season, and they wouldn’t like to be in the same position once again.

On the other hand, Liverpool no longer wants to miss out in Europe. Jurgen Klopp miss out to play in Europe during his first full season in charge, after leading Liverpool to Europa League final in his first few months as Reds manager, and he is desperate to have Champions League success with the most successful English team in Europe.

There is an extra pressure on Liverpool to finish third, but good thing is that they don’t have much challenge with the fifth and sixth placed Manchester United & Arsenal respectively. Manchester United victory over Arsenal could only harm Liverpool because their three points will take them within one points of Liverpool with a game in hand, but it’s unlikely that Red Devils will walk away with three points from Gunners den.


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