Alan Shearer downplays Manchester United’s chances of finishing in top four after Liverpool defeat

United were soundly beaten at Anfield and remain five points adrift of the top four (Picture: Getty)

Alan Shearer does not believe Manchester United are capable of finishing in the top four this season following their defeat to Liverpool and need to invest in January.

The injury-hit Red Devils went to Anfield on Sunday without talisman Marcus Rashford and were beaten 2-0, with Virgil van Dijk scoring in the first half before Mohamed Salah wrapped up all three points in stoppage time.

In truth, United could have been beaten far more comprehensively, and Shearer fears they need significant investment before the end of the month to make the top four.

Salah struck in stoppage time to finally end United’s resistance (Picture: Getty)

‘Manchester United are nowhere near the standard of Liverpool – and I don’t see them getting into the top four this season,’ Shearer wrote in his column for The Sun.

‘Even if Marcus Rashford had been fit for yesterday’s clash at Anfield, they wouldn’t have beaten Jurgen Klopp’s runaway leaders.

‘Rashford might have made it a bit more difficult for Liverpool but let’s be honest, if Liverpool had been having one of their clinical days they could have been five up in an hour.

‘They should have been out of sight because they missed that many chances.

‘United are lacking quality to get into a Champions League place unless they make some moves in the January transfer window.

‘Anthony Martial may have missed a sitter to make it 1-1, but as soon as he did that I thought “that is it”. Then Mo Salah deservedly got that second one on the break right at the death.

‘I don’t think anyone can argue that Liverpool were not far superior, that wasn’t a surprise in the slightest. United dug in but they are so obviously lacking quality in terms of where they want to be.’

Shearer feels United are lacking firepower up front and need signings (Picture: Getty)

He added: ‘I said right from the off that letting Romelu Lukaku go and not replacing him was a massive mistake.

‘They needed a forward in, whether Rashford was carrying an injury or not. They are desperate for one now and where do you find a top quality one in the January transfer window? Erling Haaland seemed the only one and they missed out on him.’

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