Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp brought back down to earth by ex-Reds star

Erik ten Hag reacts to humiliating defeat to Liverpool

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Former Liverpool star Glen Johnson believes that Jurgen Klopp’s side are still likely to finish behind Manchester United in the Premier League this season, despite their huge win over the Red Devils on Sunday. 

Liverpool fans have endured an up-and-down season which, so far, has left them chasing Champions League qualification. Wins over Everton and Newcastle last month suggested that they were back on the straight and narrow, but a subsequent heavy defeat to Real Madrid told a different story. 

Most fans expected United to put up a fight when they arrived at Anfield on Sunday. While Erik ten Hag’s men did compete during the first half, they capitulated in the second to lose 7-0 – their joint-heaviest competitive defeat. 

Klopp lapped up the electric atmosphere and milked the moment but Johnson, who left Anfield a matter of months before the German was appointed, has brought the Liverpool boss crashing back down to earth. 

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“It was a great result but I don’t want to get carried away with it,” the former England full-back told Betfred. “Let’s face it, Manchester United were probably the better side in the first half and Liverpool were probably lucky to go in 1-0 up at halftime, but the second and third goals at the start of the second half really changed the game.

“Manchester United are still a good side and they’ll still likely finish in the top four. Hopefully this result will kickstart a good run for Liverpool, but I don’t think you can say they’ll finish ahead of Manchester United based on this result.”

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The big win has catapulted Liverpool up to fifth in the Premier League table, although previous runs of troubling results has left them seven points behind the Red Devils. Supporters have grown concerned at points in the campaign with obvious drop-offs in the performances of key players such as Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho. 

Klopp is expected to recruit heavily during the summer after a series of relatively quiet transfer windows at Anfield. Johnson has urged the Reds’ hierarchy not to discount the bad times this season for the sake of one good result. 

“I do believe they still need to strengthen their squad,” he added. “It was obviously a fantastic result and a good performance, but I don’t believe that we can just forget the last three months.

“We’ve seen it before when a side like Liverpool have been struggling and they’ve needed a big game against a rival to kick them up the backside. It doesn’t matter wherever these sides are in the league, whenever Manchester United comes to Anfield, it’s always the biggest game of the year.”

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