Football

Solskjaer: Hungry Manchester United ready for Liverpool test

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said his side's visit to defending champions Liverpool on Monday morning (Singapore time) could not have come at a better time after moving top of the English Premier League.

Paul Pogba's deflected strike earned United a hard-fought 1-0 win at Burnley yesterday morning to move three points clear of Liverpool, who have failed to win in their last three league games.

It is the first time the Red Devils have topped the table at the 17-game mark since their 2012/13 title-winning season under Sir Alex Ferguson.

"It's a brilliant position to be in," said a smiling Solskjaer, whose future as manager had been under threat just a few months ago after a slow start to the season and group-stage exit from the Champions League.

"We know we are going to the champions, they've had an unbelievable 3½ seasons, we know that's going to be a difficult game, but we're ready for it.

"We couldn't be going there at a better time to play them because we are in good shape, good form, hungry, these boys want to get better and that's a test again."

Pundits such as Jamie Redknapp, however, felt that United's Luke Shaw was lucky to stay on the pitch, following his challenge on Johann Berg Gudmundsson in the first half.

Referee Kevin Friend initially allowed play to continue despite appeals from incensed Burnley players, with Robbie Brady bringing down Edinson Cavani just moments later.

Brady was then booked, prompting a VAR review, following which Friend rescinded the yellow card, brought back play and booked Shaw instead.

Redknapp said on Sky Sports: "Luke Shaw will be a relieved man in the dressing room. In the current climate where the game is so sanitised, he gets a little bit of the ball but certainly goes over the top and catches him."

"That is reckless and dangerous. He is really lucky," added Redknapp, who believes Brady should have been sent off too had play not been brought back.

While agreeing with Redknapp over Shaw's foul, fellow pundit Gary Neville has also told United fans to "get carried away".

"I don't think anyone is saying Manchester United will win the league, but the fact that they are in a title fight… wow. I never would have imagined it," said Neville on Sky Sports.

"It's a strange season. Why shouldn't Manchester United fans believe? Why shouldn't this side believe?" - AFP, REUTERS

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