Keane says he cringes watch­ing them cel­e­brat­ing top-four fin­ishes

New Straits Times - - Sport -

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.

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