Why Liverpool title race is experiencing breaks

Referee bias? Rio Ferdinand reveals why Manchester United were fortunate under Sir Alex Ferguson

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has said that the Red Devils were lucky to have won so many Premier League trophies under Sir Alex Ferguson. Ferdinand believes Liverpool are “playing with the handbrake on” and suggests that their nervousness in the title race is because they haven’t won anything “for years”.

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The former England international believes that Jurgen Klopp’s side can with a trophy this season but they need to start playing with freedom again. The Reds are currently second in England’s top flight with just a single point separating themselves and leaders Manchester City with eight games to go.

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The Meryseyside club haven’t won the title in 29 years and the England international believes lifting the trophy this season is vital to the club’s long-term success.

“They’ve been great this season but they need to take advantage of this opportunity,” Ferdinand told talkSPORT. “They don’t come around all the time.

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“What I’ve been seeing from Liverpool in the big matches is a bit of nervousness creep into their game – they’re playing with a handbrake on at times.

“They’re playing a little bit uptight, and it’s understandable because they’ve not won anything for years.

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“What has excited everyone about this Liverpool team under [Jurgen] Klopp is the freedom they play with, and at the moment it’s a bit too stop-start for my liking. The Premier League is the hardest title to win, at United we were fortunate to win as many times as we did during my spell there. You’re competing against some of the biggest and best teams in world football at the end of the day.”

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Ferdinand has also backed the Reds to overcome Bayern Munich in European competition on Wednesday night. The two clubs meet in the second leg of the Champions League last-16 fixture, with the aggregate score currently at 0-0 following the initial meeting at Anfield last month.

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“I think Liverpool will be the happier of the two teams going into this leg,” Ferdinand added. “Bayern are going through a transition phase and their best players are still [Arjen] Robben and [Franck] Ribery. They aren’t the side they once were, so I’d be very surprised if Liverpool didn’t go through. If they get an away goal they can shut up shop, so I’m pretty sure they’ll go through.

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“You look at the experience they had last year and I’m sure that will stand them in good stead this time around. If they don’t pick up any injuries I think they’ll have a decent chance of winning it.”

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