First blood drawn! Liverpool warned by Man Utd star man ahead of clash

Nemanja Matic

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Nemanja Matic says Manchester United are facing a “big fight” with arch rivals Liverpool for runners-up spot in the Premier League.

United are two points ahead of the Merseyside club entering Saturday’s so-called ‘Best of the Rest’ showdown at Old Trafford thanks to Matic’s dramatic added time winner at Crystal Palace on Monday.

The Serbia international’s first goal for the club gave them a 3-2 win and a nine-point cushion on fifth-placed Chelsea but Matic is determined to finish second after a season when he admits Man United have not lived up to expectations.

It would be the highest position United have finished in since Sir Alex Ferguson retired after guiding them to their 13th Premier League title in 2013 and Matic says that would be a sign they are making progress.

“It’s going to be very hard until the end of the season,” he said. “There are many teams fighting to be in the Champions League next season, so it’s going to be a big fight. Every team has quality and good players. We need to be mentally and physically ready.

“I would say the best of this team is yet to come. We have to be honest and say we have had some very good games but we have also had some bad games. But we have improved.

“Of course, in the Premier League it’s difficult to win every game, but step by step we’ve improved and in the future I believe, as a team, we can achieve big things together. I’m happy to be with the team and how we are working together.

“We still have the Champions League and the FA Cup to play for and I am sure we can do something this season and in the future.”

Matic’s goal not only gave Untied a win but ensured their confidence will be high for the Liverpool game.

“I’m happy I’ve scored my first goal, I know it’s not my job but I’m glad it got us the three points,” he said.

“It’s going to give us a lot of confidence, because when you win the game it’s always easier to go into the next one, especially when you have derby games coming up. I’m happy that we will go into the Liverpool game with a win.”

After his goal at Selhurst Park, Matic has been urged to try his luck by shooting more often by former United striker Dimitar Berbatov.

In a video posted to his official Instagram account, the former Premier League Golden Boot winner said: “Manchester United never gives up, great comeback. Matic, you should shoot more often outside the box, unbelievable goal.”


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