Top-four race: Manchester United secure top four place – Goal.com

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Manchester United are guaranteed a top-four finish in the Premier League after Liverpool lost at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The 3-1 defeat – in captain Steven Gerrard’s last competitive game at Anfield – leaves the Reds six points behind United with just one match left to play, ensuring that Louis van Gaal’s men will at least join the Champions League at the final qualifying stage.

Victory over Arsenal at Old Trafford on Sunday, however, could yet see United finish higher than fourth and enter next season’s edition of Europe’s elite club competition at the group stage.

A disastrous campaign under David Moyes condemned United to their first season without Champions League football since 1995-96, but they responded last summer with a £150 million spending spree that saw Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Ander Herrera, Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo and Luke Shaw arrive at Old Trafford.

Liverpool, meanwhile, saw PFA Player of the Year Luis Suarez depart for Barcelona in a £75m deal, while injuries have limited strike partner Daniel Sturridge to just 12 Premier League appearances.

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