Gary Neville has urged Manchester United to ensure they finish the season strongly by following Liverpool’s example of slowly chipping away at the points deficit between themselves and Manchester City.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side moved to within 11 points of Pep Guardiola ‘s side after a very impressive 2-0 win at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
The victory was United’s first in three matches and also marked the first match against the ‘big six’ where they have come away with a win, in the Premier League.
United have proved that they are the second-best team in the league this season and Neville has stressed the importance of limiting the distance between themselves and City by finishing the campaign strongly, to help build momentum ahead of next season.
“We know they’re not quite ready yet [to win the title] and that’s proven over the last couple of months but finish the season well,” he told The Gary Neville Podcast.
“I’ve talked today about finishing a poor second or a good second. A poor second is whereby it fades out towards the end of the season and becomes a bit of a poor league, City win it easily, and you end up 20 points off and you’re nowhere near still.
“Whereas actually if you can go and get within seven or eight points of City it will count for something. When Liverpool were chasing City down over that two or three, four years, they were getting closer every single year.
“These 10 games Man Utd have left are really important. They’ve got to finish a good second. They could be caught by Leicester and other teams but I do think they’re the second-best team in the country this season.
“If they’re not to finish second it would be a real problem but if they are going to finish second be a good second, not a poor second.
“They need to think about how they catch this Man City team in the long term. Winning today will make them feel good tonight and City will feel bad about it but at the end of the season it will be Man City lifting the trophy and those Man Utd players and the manager have to work out how they get onto that podium because that’s the only thing that matters.
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Manchester United secured a memorable 2-0 derby victory over Man City at the Etihad Stadium.
Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw scored the goals to clinch an unexpected, but empathic, victory for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s troops against the league leaders.
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“There were many times during a season where we lost games against our rivals but at the end we were holding the trophy up and nobody remembered the games we lost in, they just remembered who won the trophy.
“Short term gain for Man Utd, and a good moment, and a surprising moment from where they’ve been this week in their performances. For City, they have to pick themselves up.”