Bruno Fernandes has admitted that Manchester United are happy to have stopped Liverpool from qualifying for the Champions League next season.
United confirmed their place in the Premier League’s top four with a 4-1 win over Chelsea last night. The result means that Liverpool are now guaranteed to finish fifth, whatever happens on the last day. Europa League here we come.
And speaking to Sky Sports via Football Daily on the pitch after yesterday’s win, Fernandes’ first thought – obviously – was how his team’s win impacted their rivals.
“We know that means a lot for us. Obviously, it is about getting our goals and completion, and we did. Obviously, we are happy for Liverpool not to be there,” said the Portugal international.
“For us, it is not about that. It is about getting the best we can for ourselves, because we have to look after ourselves.”
Bruno makes it all about Liverpool
Clearly, Liverpool’s monumental 7-0 win over United is still hurting Bruno and his teammates. And well it should to be honest, it was embarrassing.
But no matter how much he and his United colleagues will paint this up as a success for Erik ten Hag’s team, in reality it’s the bare minimum for a club like theirs. It shouldn’t be forgotten that prior to that drubbing at Anfield, the Red Devils were convinced they were in a title race.
Obviously though, top four is still an improvement for them. They’ve fallen short of that in recent seasons while Liverpool have flourished, winning the Champions League and getting to a further two finals.
This year, the disappointment has been Liverpool’s instead. As Mohamed Salah’s harshly-worded statement on Twitter last night shows, the Reds players know they’ve let the club down this campaign.
Hopefully this feeling – and the barbs of rivals like Bruno – will drive them on to be back at the top table next season.
In the meantime, it’s time to embrace the Europa. No, it’s not where we want to be, but there’s plenty of fun still to be had.
It will be strange to see Liverpool back on Thursday night’s after a seven-year absence. But the only way to make a good out of a bad is to go and do what Bruno has failed to in the three year’s he’s played in the Europa League – win it.