Manchester United showed plenty of character in Monday’s come-from-behind Premier League win over Crystal Palace but they need to show improvement when Liverpool visit Old Trafford at the weekend, midfielder Nemanja Matic has said.
Matic scored his first United goal with a superb volleyed added-time winner as they recovered from two goals down to seal a 3-2 victory that took them back up to second place above Liverpool ahead of Saturday’s blockbuster Premier League clash.
“We have to do more if we want to win, as Liverpool is a team with great quality. We have to play better, but with the same character,” Matic told the club’s website (www.manutd.com).
“We’ll show the same character as we did (against Palace)… but we have to be honest… we have to play better, especially when you see our first half performance.
“It is obviously great to win game by game and when you have a match against Liverpool coming up, a big derby, it’s important to go into that with a win,” Serbia internatioanal Matic added.
With runaway leaders Manchester City closing in on their third league title in seven seasons, attention has shifted to the fight for Champions League qualification and United’s battle with Liverpool to finish second behind their neighbours.
Jose Mourinho’s United side have 62 points and lead the Merseyside club by two with nine game remaining.
Both clubs are also targeting European glory, with Liverpool reaching the Champions League quarter-finals after a 5-0 aggregate win over Porto while United face Sevilla in the return leg of their last 16 clash on Tuesday having drawn 0-0 away.
United host Brighton & Hove Albion in the FA Cup quarter-finals on the Saturday following the match with the Spaniards.
“It is a big game against Liverpool,” Mourinho said. “I think we both want to finish in the top four, but we both want to finish second so, yes, it is a big game.
“Then we have Sevilla in the Champions League knockout and Brighton in the FA Cup knockout, so three big matches at Old Trafford,” the Portuguese manager added.