Manchester United's match against Liverpool was billed as the start of a gruelling 10 day period that could define their season, with matches against Olympiacos, West Ham and Manchester City providing stern tests for David Moyes and his men.
However, the red devils have managed to trip over their first hurdle as they succumbed to a 3 - 0 defeat at the hands of Liverpool. The manner of their defeat has brought up many points for both sets of fans to ponder over.
1) Is Moyes the right man for United ?
After the defeat to Liverpool, Moyes claimed he was 'puzzled' and 'confused' by his teams flat display against Liverpool. Unfortunately for United fans, this has become all too familiar.
Manchester United's subdued display against Liverpool has left them 14 points off the top four and facing a serious challenge to get into the Europa League, Europe's second tier. Whilst it seems like Moyes still has the support of those in charge of United, one has to wonder how many eggshells Moyes has left to crack on until his position is reviewed.
This is now United's ninth loss of the season and fifth at Old Trafford. Even if United can overcome a 3 goal deficit against Olympiacos to progress to the quarter finals of the Champions League, it is highly unlikely that they will be able to defeat the like of Bayern Munich, Barcelona or PSG.
This leaves many to wonder if Moyes will still be the man in charge of United when the Premier League kicks off next season.
2) Liverpool finally establish themselves as genuine title contenders
Even though Liverpool have been exceptional this season in the league, there were still a few people critical of their title challenge, claiming they have not got the squad to to compete with other big teams such as Chelsea and Manchester City.
The match with Manchester United was a chance for them to silence the small amount of their critics, and they took it with both hands. After the mauling of the current Premier League champions, Gerrard claimed they were now genuine title contenders. Liverpool are currently four points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea with a game in hand.
If Brendan Rodgers' men can keep up their current form, there might not be a team able to stop them.
3) Manchester United need an influx of new players
With Manchester United losing 2 - 0, Moyes opted to bring on Welbeck and Cleverly in place of Fellaini and Januzaj in the 75th minute, much to the disappointment of the United faithful.
If Manchester United are to challenge for the Premier League next season, they will need to bring in quite a few players and offload some bit part players, such as Young and Buttner. Also, Moyes will need to replace the departing Vidic, Evra and Ferdinand, with the trio expected to leave the theatre of dreams in the summer.
It is rumoured that Moyes will be given around £200 million to spend on rejuvenating the United squad, with targets such as Kroos, Gundogan and Shaw likely to be pursued in the summer transfer window.
4) Januzaj needs a rest
As Januzaj was hooked off for Welbeck on the 75th minute, it was clear that the the young Belgian's initial positive influence on the United squad has waned.
Even though Januzaj has had an exceptional start to his United career and has a significant amount of potential, Moyes over-reliance on the young Belgian starlet in recent matches has started to take its toll on the youngster. The match against Liverpool was a prime example of this as Flanagan and Johnson barely broke a sweat containing Januzaj.
With other players determined to prove their worth to David Moyes, it must surely be time for a player such as Kagawa, whose appearances have been limited this season, to be given a run in the team.
5) Liverpool can challenge Europe's elite with a few more additions
It looks most likely that Brendan Rodgers will be taking Liverpool into the Champions League next season. As this will be their first appearance in Europe's elite competition, they will need to add to their squad.
Their first eleven, with the like of Coutinho, Suarez and Gerrard, would cause most teams a problem. However, their lack of quality in depth will be ruthlessly exposed by the like of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, PSG and Barcelona.
Also, they will be expected to give a better account in their cup competitions next season, meaning they will need more quality players added to their squad in order to rotate them successfully
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