Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez is confident the gap is narrowing between the Reds and Premier League champions Manchester United. Benitez's side lost just twice and finished with 86 points - which was four behind their arch-rivals and their best Premier League return.

"If you analyse the number of points you see it's a record for the club in the Premier League," he told the Liverpool Daily Post.

"We are going forward, we are progressing. For the future this is good news and hopefully this is the beginning of something important.

"In terms of the consistency of the team we've been really good. The squad is better, the mentality is very good and the players are competing for their positions."

Benitez accepts the main difference between the two teams is the strength in depth of the respective squads.

"We won against them twice this year. We've shown we can beat anyone. Clearly we have enough quality in the team," he said.

"The squad is good but against us United had Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Dimitar Berbatov on the bench.

"Each year is different but we are closer, we have more confidence, and the experience of this year will be good for next season.

"You never know but it seems like we are reducing the gap."