Barnes: Reds have come a long way

Barnes: Reds have come a long way

Liverpool legend John Barnes has hailed the progress of Rafael Benitez’s side this season even if they fail to win the Premier League title.

The Reds’ recent quarter-final elimination from the Champions League by Chelsea left them focusing solely on overhauling leaders Manchester United.

The 4-4 draw with Arsenal allowed Alex Ferguson’s side to stretch their lead to three points with a game in hand after their 2-0 win over Portsmouth last night.

But former England winger Barnes insists even pushing the Red Devils close represents real progress after previous disappointment in the league.

“They can now throw all their eggs into one basket, the league,” Barnes said.

“They have had a fantastic season even if they don’t win the Premier League, because to be pushing Manchester United this close after being 20 points behind them in recent years shows they really have come a long way.

“For me, if they won the Champions League but were 20-25 points off Manchester United as they have been in the past, I’m not interested in that.

“I’m interested in them winning the league or pushing them (United) close to show they are the best or, if not the best, very close to being the best team in the country.”

::John Barnes is representing the MARS Balls Get Britain Playing 200,000 ball giveaway. See www.marsballsgetbritainplaying.com for details.

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