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Sunday, 1 March 2015

Liverpool the form side in top4 race

Brendan Rodgers’ sides 2-1 victory against defending champions Manchester City pushed the Merseysiders into 5th place, the highest they’ve been since October and they now lie just 2 points away from Manchester United who are 4th and with all the momentum Liverpool now look the team to beat in the race for Champions League places.

Fantastic strikes by Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho were enough for Liverpool to see off the challenge of Manuel Pellegrini's side and take all three points at Anfield in similar style to the fixture last year. Many expected a tired Liverpool to show up after their poor European performance on Thursday and the quick turnaround but Brendan Rodgers’ side were fantastic from start to finish heaping the pressure on their top4 rivals.

The win means Liverpool have not lost a game since December when they were considerably outdone at Old Trafford by 3 goals to nil but since then they have been unstoppable. A change in style from Rodgers has sured up the defence and completely rejuvinated his sides season, something he as a manager deserves a lot of credit for. From the last available 30 points Liverpool have picked up 26 and are the form team in the Premier League.Their last three games have been victories against Southampton, Spurs and now Man City, massive statements of the standard the team is playing at.

Before Liverpool had taken to the field on Sunday, Man United had already won their game beating Sunderland at home 2-0 to keep themselves in the top4, United have been inconsistent as of late and Van Gaal’s side will be very worried about Liverpool lurking up behind them especially with a trip to Anfield still to come in the near future. Van Gaal’s minimum expectation is to gain a top4 place and the pressure may begin to tell if the aim begins to fall from his reach.

Arsenal took to the field after Liverpool as they played host to the blue Merseysiders Everton on the back of one of their worst ever Champions League defeats in their history, a 3-1 home loss against French side Monaco. The Gunners responded in style however seeing off Everton with relative ease by 2 goals to nil and concealing their place in 3rd, momentarily at least.

Spurs did not play due to their Capital One Cup final while other Chamions League challengers Southampton were beaten. At the moment it looks like a three way battle for the final two Champions League spots with Spurs maybe making it a four way battle if they can keep up with the pace.It looks to be in Liverpool’s hands and should they keep up their current run of form you would expect them to secure a 3rd place finish and maybe even catch Man City in 2nd.

Arsenal and Manchester United are both struggling for consistency and look set to battle against each other for that fourth and final Champions League spot.