Manchester United and Chelsea likely won’t catch Liverpool next season and two players prove it

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There is no doubt that the FA Cup semi-final weekend was a revelation for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Manchester United.Much has been said lately that victories against Sheffield United, Norwich City, Brighton, Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Crystal Palace have shown United can close the gap next season, but this loss to Chelsea would have brought them back to earth.

Even Chelsea, who made the final by beating United by three goals to one, are still 33 points behind Liverpool in the Premier League.

That would be a huge gap to recoup, especially for a Chelsea side who have scored 54 goals so far in the league this season – more than any other side in the top half and Brighton who are 16th, at the time of writing. this article. .

Manchester City – along with United and Chelsea – are set to spend a lot more in the transfer market than Liverpool this summer, but the Reds can nonetheless be confident they have at least a good chance of defending their title.

As Joe Rimmer pointed out in the Blood Red podcast, United and Chelsea – and in one respect, City too – have a lot of work to do in two crucial areas.

He said: “United and Chelsea remind me of where Liverpool were two seasons ago where they have some really exciting attacking players and they were just trying to find one or two players who would take them to the next level.

“Liverpool found it in Van Dijk and Alisson – but how difficult has it been for Liverpool to find these players? It was not easy and they had problems for a long time.

“It’s a huge gap and you don’t close it overnight or with decent form. They’re going to have to go into the market and find a better backbone.

“The only thing Liverpool have that is better than all of these teams is a hell of a backbone. Look at the Chelsea defense – I’m not sure you would accept one. Harry Maguire has come in for a world record price for United. and it is far from Van Dijk.

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“They play and Liverpool don’t need to play. If they’re successful all summer, they could be challengers next season, but that’s easier said than done. ”

Liverpool must have spent a lot on a center-back and goalkeeper in 2018 – and now both pursuers have to do the same to close the significant points gap. Manchester City have one of those areas sorted into goalkeeper Ederson, but have issues at the back instead.

With Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner enrolled at Chelsea, and with Kai Havertz seen close to moving to Stamford Bridge as well, Frank Lampard has plenty of attacking zest. But like United, it is at the other end of the pitch that most improvements are needed.

Alisson and Van Dijk have proven to be transformational signings for Liverpool – between them the difference between the top four and league and European titles.

As Paul Gorst added: “We all know that these days you’re as good as your last 15 minutes in the age of social media, but some of the comments during this good run were that United were ready to go. to fight for the title next season – they’re far from it.

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“They are far from being able to challenge Liverpool regularly. It’s Liverpool and City now and it will be at the top of the Premier League for quite a while. “

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