LIVERPOOL manager Kenny Dalglish does not know what the after-effects of their Europa League exit will be on his side but admitted it places extra significance on their domestic form.
The Reds’ goalless draw against Braga at Anfield meant they went out of the competition 1-0 on aggregate at the last-16 stage.
In order to avoid failing to qualify for Europe for the first time since 1999 they now have to finish fifth in the Barclays Premier League.
But that is no easy feat with current incumbents Tottenham six points ahead having played one match fewer.
Dalflish said: “I don’t know if it will be a help not being in the Europa League.”
MANAGER Roberto Mancini is threatening to axe Mario Balotelli for Manchester City’s Premier League encounter with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
The Blues boss left Eastlands an angry man last night, raging at Dynamo Kiev and Balotelli, who was sent off as City crashed out of the Europa League.
Mancini was fuming at the time-wasting tactics of the Ukrainian side, who went down at every opportunity as they successfully defended their first-leg lead.
But that fury was matched with the anger Mancini reserved for Balotelli, who was sent off after 36 minutes for a ridiculous challenge on Goran Popov.
Right in front of both the referee and his assistant, Balotelli put his studs into the chest of the Dynamo defender, then shoved them into his thigh for good measure.
And it seems Mancini’s patience has finally snapped with a player who seems incapable of behaving responsibly. Looking ahead to Sunday’s clash, Mancini said of Balotelli: “I don’t think he will be in the squad
“I didn’t see the foul properly but I am very disappointed because in a game like this it is very difficult if you pick up a red card, and you can pick up a red card for doing something stupid.”