Gary Neville says he wanted Liverpool to win, loss bad news for Manchester United

Liverpool's Europa League exit is not good news for Manchester United fans, as much as they may have enjoyed it.

When Liverpool lose, supporters of rivals Manchester United won't help but crack a smile at the very least, if not a cheer.

Yet last night when the Reds were beaten in a penalty shootout by Besiktas in the Europa League, the joke could be on the Red Devils.

When United beat Liverpool 3-0 at Old Trafford last Autumn it seemed at the time as though Louis van Gaal's side would have a top four place wrapped up by this stage of the season, and Liverpool would be lucky to finish in the Europa spots.

Then with Liverpool knocked out of the Champions League and sent through the trap door into this year's Europa League, that distraction of playing every Thursday and Sunday would add to reasons to bet against them finishing above United.

Now with Liverpool eliminated, United hold no such advantage, with each side only having FA Cup quarter-finals, and potentially a meeting at a later date at Wembley as a distraction.

In the Premier League, the gap between the two clubs has been closed to just two points with United in fourth after their loss to Swansea and Liverpool into sixth after beating Southampton.

It was a point Gary Neville agreed with, the former Manchester United defender admitting he wanted Liverpool to beat Besiktas.

The kicker for United fans is that one of the Europa League dates for the last 16 games, which Liverpool will no longer have to play, fell on the Thursday before Manchester United visit Anfield.

Now instead United will face a more focused and fresher Liverpool, who are unbeaten in the league in 2015, while having to get their own form right as the season approaches the latter stages.

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