Manchester United Say Jump, Will Liverpool Say How High?

Antony HerbertAnalyst IIIApril 25, 2010

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - APRIL 25:  Steven Gerrard of Liverpool celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Burnley and Liverpool at Turf Moor on April 25, 2010 in Burnley, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

With Liverpool’s win against Burnley the Merseyside outfit have offered themselves a still slim hope of claiming fourth spot in the Premiership.

However what lies ahead, and the forfeit they may have to pay is clear. For Liverpool to have any chance of succeeding in snatching fourth they have to gift Manchester United the title.

And as we know, this isnt just any title!

Glory for Manchester United would set themselves apart in English football history. It would signal the beginning of a new era. Manchester United wouldn't just claim yet another title in the Premiership era; they would claim a nineteenth top flight win, in a triumph that would surpass Liverpool’s static tally of eighteen.

The gift to Manchester United would come in the form of Liverpool’s questionable ability to defeat current leaders Chelsea. The Kop team can capitalise on any slip ups made by Manchester City and Tottenham and bring into fruition a chain of events that could alter the final composite of the league table in its dying moments.

And if Chelsea lose to Liverpool, then Manchester United can go and grab the spoils.

As a Liverpool fan you are therefore given a choice. Would you rather the team pressed ahead with the almighty challenge of finishing fourth; a challenge that relies mostly on the results that come their opponents way? Or would you instead want the scenes of a Europa League celebration that comes at the cost of a league finish away from Champions League qualification?

It is unlikely that both can targets be achieved, so these appear to be the options.

I am slightly more driven towards Europa League glory. Yes, it would not make up for the dismal efforts this season which have left them in this predicament. At the same time however it is the lesser of two evils.  

Imagine the taunts from United fans next season when they can statistically claim to be the best team in England.

We all know that in the modern era they are the giants, they are the team you want to beat, and they are the team you aspire to be. Yet, what Liverpool fans have always coveted is the illustrious history which saw them shoot streaks ahead of the rest in the wonder years of the mid to late twentieth century.

Now that illusion is on the brink of collapse.

If only Liverpool hadn't surrendered their lead against Birmingham, and if only they had taken their multiple opportunities against Fulham.

Yet that is the price to pay for failing to fulfil their on paper credentials.

European football is seemingly sealed unless Liverpool can gain nothing in either of their remaining two fixtures.

Now it is just a case of which trophy they will fight for next season, and whether they will have to face the constant superior outpourings of United fans.

Either way what is a certainty is that this season will hopefully be forgotten as quickly as it seemed to fall apart.