sport news Has the balance of power shifted from Liverpool to again?

The Kop confetti had barely been swept away and the champagne hangovers had just worn off when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer vowed to knock Liverpool off their Premier League perch again.

The league title going to Anfield for the first time in three decades stung , the 33-point chasm between these bitter rivals in the final table symbolic of a power shift.

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool winning the Champions League and then the Premier League in consecutive seasons only hammered home how far United had declined from the time when Sir Alex Ferguson made winning look as easy as breathing.

Liverpool's Premier League title win last season stung their bitter rivals Manchester United

Liverpool's Premier League title win last season stung their bitter rivals

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (left) vowed to overhaul Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool in the league table

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (left) vowed to overhaul Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool in the league table

'Every time you see anyone else lift a trophy, it hurts. That's the feeling everyone associated with ,' Solskjaer said a few days after Liverpool's title coronation.

'We want to get back to winning ways. That is our challenge.'

While United's third-placed finish in 2019-20 hinted strongly at progress, nothing suggested they would enter this Sunday's clash with Liverpool at Old Trafford four places and 13 points above them.

It isn't a full reversal of last season's colossal gap but an impressive swing nonetheless and United need just a point from the game this weekend to guarantee they will finish above Liverpool.

What's more, Solskjaer's team find themselves in the nice position of knowing any points taken on Sunday will deal a blow to Liverpool's chances of qualifying for next season's Champions League.

United are on course to finish comfortably in second position in a season of improvement

United are on course to finish comfortably in second position in a season of improvement

But Liverpool's title defence has been risible amid a season of injury frustrations

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But Liverpool's title defence has been risible amid a season of injury frustrations 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can be satisfied with Manchester United's season

Jurgen Klopp, however, will want the new campaign to start as quickly as possible

It's Solskjaer's (left) team who can be happier with how the season has turned out while Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp (right) will just want the new one to start

While United look set for a second-place finish, albeit a distant one to champions-elect Manchester City after their title challenge spluttered, Liverpool are caught in a top-four bottleneck.

They're duking it out with Chelsea, West Ham, Tottenham and Everton for what is essentially one remaining Champions League place.

Liverpool's nine league defeats this season is as many as in their three previous seasons combined and far from where they expected their title defence to be with five rounds of games to play.

But are we witnessing a long-term pendulum swing back from Merseyside to Manchester? In truth, it's too early to say.

The 1970s and 1980s belonged to Liverpool before Ferguson's United dominated the two decades that followed. The seven seasons since Fergie's retirement have seen greater unpredictability.

Matches between the two north-west rivals remain as keenly-contested as they've always been

Matches between the two north-west rivals remain as keenly-contested as they've always been

Bruno Fernandes scored a free-kick winner during their last meeting - in the FA Cup in January

Bruno Fernandes scored a free-kick winner during their last meeting - in the FA Cup in January

The balance of power since Fergie retired 

2013-14 Liverpool (2nd) Man United (7th) +20 points

2014-15 United (4th) Liverpool (6th) +8

2015-16 United (5th) Liverpool (8th) +6

2016-17 Liverpool (4th) United (6th) +7

2017-18 United (2nd) Liverpool (4th) +6

2018-19 Liverpool (2nd) United (6th) +31

2019-20 Liverpool (1st) United (3rd) +33

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Liverpool have finished ahead of United in four of

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