Manchester United suffered another disappointing result on a night when financial aspects took centrestage. A 2-0 loss against Liverpool in the first leg of the Europa League encounter between the two teams puts United at a major disadvantage as far as qualifying for the next stage is concerned.
It also raises questions about their Champions League participation next season.
The club are only three points outside the top four places, but they have now suffered back-to-back defeats to dent the confidence even further. It was only recently that the club managed to string together a run of four straight victories in all competitions to improve their chances of a top four finish.
The loss against Liverpool will have an overpowering effect especially in the league. TV money will be of paramount importance to the club if they are the football rich list in the next few years. The TV money from the Premier League will rise to new levels next season.
Much like punters can get rewarded playing casino games, United could be in a position to take advantage of this rise if they manage to get a bit of luck. Unfortunatley, their current situation is likely to see a significant drop in the number of live TV matches scheduled to feature United because Sky Sports and BT Sports are more interested in featuring matches of successful teams as their live content, and United are currently struggling to make it into the top four.
“I have to say that Liverpool have created an atmosphere that is fantastic. They played very good; in the first half we could not cope with their pressure. Still, they have chances but David De Gea was fantastic. We [gave away] a penalty and it was a cheap penalty, I think. In the second half, we changed the shape and then we had much more contribution to the game, but we didn’t create many chances. They scored another cheap goal, I think, and that’s difficult because 2-0 is a very difficult result for us,” said Van Gaal.