Coronavirus: Liverpool being denied title would be 'extremely harsh', says Van der Sar

Omnisport

Liverpool being denied a first Premier League title by the coronavirus pandemic would be "extremely harsh", according to former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar.

Jurgen Klopp's men had opened up a 25-point lead on closest challengers Manchester City when the season was brought to a halt by COVID-19 in March.

The Reds require just two more victories from their remaining nine matches to seal top spot, but it remains to be seen if the campaign will be played out in full.

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Some nations have already confirmed an end to their top-flight campaigns, including the Netherlands, where Van der Sar serves as CEO for Eredivisie giants Ajax.

Despite leading AZ Alkmaar on goal difference, Ajax were not awarded the championship, but Van der Sar expects to see a different outcome if the Premier League season is curtailed.

"In my view, with the type of football they played and the points they are ahead, it would be extremely harsh," he told CNN Sport.

"The Premier League is a well-run league and of course there are big interests on the financial side, the commercial sides.

"But I'm sure they will make a wise decision if they keep on playing or if the league stops, what the results will be depending for Champions League places, relegation or awarding a title to Liverpool.

"If the league doesn't resume, I presume everybody will be okay if Liverpool wins the title."

Van der Sar's former club United are down in fifth and 37 points behind the runaway leaders, despite an upturn in form prior to the coronavirus-enforced shutdown.

Despite the big gap to bitter rivals Liverpool, the iconic keeper believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side can challenge for the title next term by investing wisely in their squad.

"The honeymoon period [under Solskjaer] was great. Then they hit a rocky patch and I think the last seven, eight, nine weeks, they've been playing better football," he said.

"The points were coming in. They had some good results against good teams also. Of course, for them, I hope that the league is going to resume because they probably will need those Champions League places.

"I think the main thing for them is to focus on the next season and hopefully, with two or three additions, they'll be competitive again to Liverpool and Manchester City."

Questions remain over the future of Paul Pogba ahead of the next transfer window, but, in the view of Van der Sar, United already boast a talented spine.

"Maybe they can solve what's going to happen with Paul, is he going to stay?" he said.

"I'm sure that with [David] de Gea, with [Harry] Maguire, with [Bruno] Fernandes, with [Marcus] Rashford, with [Anthony] Martial, they have a good line, I think, in the middle.

"And besides that, they've also a lot of young players developing as always at United. So in that way I'm positive for next season for them."

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