DEVILS AND REDS
Keane says he cringes watching them celebrating top-four finishes
LONDON clubs have failed to challenge for the Premier League title this season and instead are left to scrap for Champions League qualification.
Jurgen Klopp’s team took a significant step towards a top-four spot with a 1-0 win at Watford on Monday night — but Keane says any celebrations are ‘cringe’ worthy. United, meanwhile, may have to rely on the Europa League for a route into the big time next season as they sit fifth in the table.
“When I see clubs like Liverpool and Man United celebrating getting into the top four, I cringe at it, I really do,” former United captain Keane, speaking at a Give Racism The Red Card event, said.
He added: “Any of these big clubs — do you think that Real Madrid and Barcelona would be celebrating getting fourth? Come on, get a grip.
“It is about getting your hands on a trophy. People talk about getting into the top four because of the financial rewards and it was great for teams like Leicester to qualify but for the big teams, Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal, celebrating fourth? I say shame on you.”
United face Celta Vigo in their Europa League semi-final first leg in Spain today knowing it may be their main chance of qualifying for the Champions League.
Jose Mourinho’s men are a point behind fourth-placed Manchester City in the Premier League and four off Liverpool, albeit with a game in hand, and face a tough run-in.
United are pitted against Arsenal and Spurs away from home in their next two league games.
Neither of Liverpool or United have managed to offer a credible title challenge to Chelsea this year and both sides are some way behind Tottenham in second place, too. Daily Mail
“I’m trying to persuade him to stay but it will be tough,” Benteke told British media. “He’ll have offers from other clubs, although our chairman and boss will try to get him to stay too.
“He’s made such a difference to us. First, we have to make sure we remain in the Prem (league), but we’re not far away now.”
Benteke, who joined Palace at the beginning of the season under former manager Alan Pardew, said the club had to improve next season.
“It wasn’t the plan when I came to fight relegation,” Benteke said. “Next season we have to aim for the top half of the Premier League table.”
Palace travel to fourth-placed Manchester City on Saturday and a win would guarantee they remain in the league for another season. Reuters
Manchester United players celebrate after scoring a goal.