Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Sport Football European

Manchester United 1-1 Liverpool (Agg: 1-3): Philippe Coutinho goal seals United's fate as they are dumped out of Europa League

Published 17/03/2016

Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho (R) celebrates after scoring their first goal during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho (R) celebrates after scoring their first goal during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United's Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini (3rd L) reacts to a missed chance during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England on March 17, 2016. The game ended 1-1, Liverpool going through 3-1 on aggregate. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal applauds the fans as he walks down the touchline after the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool celebrates a 3-1 aggregate victory after the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 17, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Manchester United's English defender Chris Smalling (R) vies with Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Roberto Firmino during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal sits on the bench with assistant Ryan Giggs during the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool celebrates a 3-1 aggregate victory after the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 17, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho (R) celebrates with Liverpool's French defender Mamadou Sakho after scoring their first goal during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho scores his side's first goal of the game during the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Flares are lit by the Liverpool supporters during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge (left) is substituted for teammate Divock Origi (right) during the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Serbian referee Milorad Mazic (R) speaks to Manchester United's Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United's Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini gestures after a clash with Liverpool's Croatian defender Dejan Lovren during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool fans let off a red flare in the stands during the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool reacts during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 17, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Jesse Lingard of Manchester United grabs the ball as he is fouled during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 17, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge has a shot on goal during the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PA
Manchester United's Welsh assistant manager Ryan Giggs (R) gestures as Liverpool's English midfielder James Milner prepares to take a throw-in during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United's Anthony Martial (second right) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game from the penalty spot during the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool reacts as Ryan Giggs Assistant Manager of Manchester United looks on during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 17, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Goalkeeper David De Gea of Manchester United stretches to make a save during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 17, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet saves a header by Manchester United's Jesse Lingard during the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Sir Alex Ferguson in the stands during the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal (left) walk down the touchline before the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Anthony Martial of Manchester United scores their first goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 17, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool looks on as Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool stretches prior to the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 17, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: A supporter arrives at the ground prior to the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 17, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Liverpool's French defender Mamadou Sakho warms up ahead of the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United's Michael Carrick (left) leads his side out for the warm up before the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Manchester United's Michael Carrick leads his side out for the warm up before the UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 17, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool looks on prior to the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 17, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Match day scarves are sold outside the stadium prior to the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 17, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Match day scarves are displayed outside the stadium prior to the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 17, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Match day scarves are displayed outside the stadium prior to the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 17, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: A general view outside the stadium prior to the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second leg match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 17, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
File photo dated 16-03-2016 of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday March 17, 2016. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes he has the game plan to counter Manchester United at Old Trafford. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read Peter Byrne/PA Wire
File photo dated 16-03-2016 of Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday March 17, 2016. Manchester United are facing an uphill battle, but Louis van Gaal is only contemplating victory and Europa League progress against Liverpool. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read Martin Rickett/PA Wire.
Manchester United to face Liverpool in the 2nd leg of their Europa League tie at Old Trafford, Manchester, England (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal believes his side can progress past Liverpool
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is a man with a plan to face Manchester United.

Liverpool have beaten Manchester United 3-1 on aggregate after a 1-1 draw in the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie.

Philippe Coutinho's moment of brilliance extinguished United's faint hopes and saw Liverpool through to the Europa League quarter-finals.

Boasting a two-goal advantage from last week's frenetic, one-sided encounter at Anfield, Jurgen Klopp's men made the short journey knowing an away goal at Old Trafford would throw their rivals' comeback hopes off-kilter.

For a while Louis van Gaal's side had looked capable of a memorable comeback, only for Coutinho's magic to kill the mood - and United's hopes of progressing from the last-16 tie - as Liverpool held out for a 1-1 draw on the night, seeing them through 3-1 winners on aggregate.

United were always facing an uphill battle - highlighted by bookmakers pricing them at 7/1 to progress - but started strongly, keeping firm at the back and attacking with panache.

Anthony Martial's penalty as half-time approached gave the home fans hope, which Coutinho snatched away with a mood-changing individual effort, ghosting into the area and clipping past David de Gea.

It all but ended the tie as Liverpool deservedly progressed and narrowed under-pressure Van Gaal's hopes of ending a difficult season with a trophy - and Champions League football.

Unfortunately ugly scenes dominated the final minutes on a night when vile chants about Hillsborough were sometimes audible - songs heard in the first leg at Anfield and looked possible again after a vile banner reading 'Murderers' was displayed on the outskirts of the Manchester.

UEFA may take action this time having not punished United for last week's chants as it was not mentioned in the match officials' reports - the same reason Marouane Fellaini got away with swinging out at Emre Can.

It meant, much to Klopp's chagrin, that the Belgian started and was soon proving a handful, catching Roberto Firmino during an edgy start which took 18 minutes to produce the first shot of note.

Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool celebrates as Roberto Firmino of Liverpool scores their second goal during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first leg match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on March 10, 2016 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool celebrates as Roberto Firmino of Liverpool scores their second goal during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first leg match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on March 10, 2016 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp celebrates alongside Liverpool's Divock Origi (left) at the end of the game during the UEFA Europa League, Round of Sixteen, First Leg match at Anfield, Liverpool. PA
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp (C) applauds the fans following the UEFA Europa League round of 16, first leg football match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on March 10, 2016. Liverpool won the match 2-0. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp (C) applauds the fans following the UEFA Europa League round of 16, first leg football match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on March 10, 2016. Liverpool won the match 2-0. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's English midfielder Jordan Henderson applauds the fans following the UEFA Europa League round of 16, first leg football match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on March 10, 2016. Liverpool won the match 2-0. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool supporters celebrates in their side's second goal of the game during the UEFA Europa League, Round of Sixteen, First Leg match at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 10, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Smoke from a flare lingers over the pitch during the UEFA Europa League, Round of Sixteen, First Leg match at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 10, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Manchester United's Dutch manager Louis van Gaal (L) and Manchester United's Welsh assistant manager Ryan Giggs sits in the dug out during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, first leg football match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on March 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 10: Roberto Firmino of Liverpool (11) celebrates with Emre Can (23) as he scores their second goal during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first leg match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on March 10, 2016 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Liverpool's Roberto Firmino during the UEFA Europa League, Round of Sixteen, First Leg match at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 10, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 10: Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool celebrates as he scores their first goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first leg match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on March 10, 2016 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool celebrates as Roberto Firmino of Liverpool scores their second goal during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first leg match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on March 10, 2016 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool celebrates as Roberto Firmino of Liverpool scores their second goal during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first leg match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on March 10, 2016 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool celebrates as Roberto Firmino of Liverpool scores their second goal during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first leg match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on March 10, 2016 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Liverpool's English striker Daniel Sturridge (C) celebrates scoring his team's first goal from the peanlrty spot during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, first leg football match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on March 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 10: Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool scores their first goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first leg match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on March 10, 2016 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge scores his sides first goal of the game from the penalty spot during the UEFA Europa League, Round of Sixteen, First Leg match at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 10, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
de Manchester United's Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea (L) attempts to save penalty from Liverpool's English striker Daniel Sturridge (C) during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, first leg football match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on March 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool fans wave flags and banners ahead of the UEFA Europa League round of 16, first leg football match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on March 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool fans fly a huge flat ahead of the UEFA Europa League round of 16, first leg football match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on March 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp reacts ahead of the UEFA Europa League round of 16, first leg football match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on March 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Former Liverpool player and manager Kenny Dalglish ahead of the UEFA Europa League round of 16, first leg football match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on March 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho (L) vies with during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, first leg football match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on March 10, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 10: Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool reacts during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first leg match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on March 10, 2016 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 10: David Gill and Sir Alex Ferguson look on from the stand prior to the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first leg match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on March 10, 2016 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 10: Liverpool fans wave flags and banners prior to the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first leg match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on March 10, 2016 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 10: Liverpool fans wave flags and banners prior to the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first leg match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on March 10, 2016 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 10: Liverpool fans show their support prior to the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first leg match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on March 10, 2016 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 10: Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool looks on prior to the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first leg match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on March 10, 2016 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp reacts ahead of the UEFA Europa League round of 16, first leg football match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on March 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp during the UEFA Europa League, Round of Sixteen, First Leg match at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 10, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 10: Louis van Gaal manager of Manchester United looks on prior to the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first leg match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on March 10, 2016 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 10: A Liverpool club crest is seen prior to the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first leg match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on March 10, 2016 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 10: Fans wait outside a cafe prior to the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first leg match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on March 10, 2016 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 10: Merchandise for sale prior to the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first leg match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on March 10, 2016 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Liverpool and Manchester United meet in a European competition for the first time in the UEFA Europa League round of 16, the first leg is at Anfield on March 10, 2016 with the 2nd leg on March 17, 2016 at Old Trafford,Manchester, England (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Liverpool and Manchester United meet in a European competition for the first time in the UEFA Europa League round of 16, the first leg is at Anfield on March 10, 2016 with the 2nd leg on March 17, 2016 at Old Trafford,Manchester, England (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal (right) and assistant manager Ryan Giggs watch their players during during a training session at the Aon Training Complex, Manchester. Wednesday March 9, 2016. PA
Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge during a training session at Melwood Training Ground, Liverpool. PA
Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet during a training session at Melwood Training Ground, Liverpool. Picture date: Wednesday March 9, 2016. PA
Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool looks on during a press conference ahead of the UEFA Europa League round of 16 first leg match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Melwood Training Ground on March 9, 2016 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp during a press conference at Melwood Training Ground, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 9, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Adam Lallana during a press conference at Melwood Training Ground, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 9, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp during a press conference at Melwood Training Ground, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 9, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 09: Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool smiles during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League round of 16 first leg match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Melwood Training Ground on March 9, 2016 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)

When it did Simon Mignolet showed impressive flexibility to claw away Jesse Lingard's close-range header, with the Liverpool goalkeeper no doubt having breathed a sigh of relief when Juan Mata then struck across the face of his goal.

Martial cut in and fired over as United looked to open the scoring, while at the other end last-ditch defending and dithering thwarted the visitors before De Gea - so impressive in the first leg - superbly denied Coutinho.

United quickly capitalised as Nathaniel Clyne, who won the penalty that opened the scoring at Anfield, clumsily clipped Martial in the box, with the France striker slamming home the resulting spot-kick.

Sir Alex Ferguson punched the air in delight - a feeling that Daniel Sturridge nearly abruptly ended with a fizzing free-kick from an acute angle that hitting the crossbar.

Marcos Rojo prodded inches wide as United looked to level the tie on aggregate, only to be hit by a gut punch just before half-time.

The hosts failed to heed Jordan Henderson and Firmino's warning shots, with Coutinho showing exceptional skill to net a crucial away goal.

Running onto the ball wide on the left, he darted towards the area, cut all too easily past Guillermo Varela and, from an acute angle, clipped over De Gea.

The Spanish goalkeeper will have no doubt been frustrated not to keep out an effort which delirious Liverpool fans celebrated throughout half-time.

United attacked strongly after the break - too strongly in the case of Fellaini, who was booked for elbowing Dejan Lovren - but Mignolet's goal was rarely under any serious threat.

Martial missed the target shortly after Sturridge flashed wide at other end, where crowed trouble in the East Stand upper tier saw many miss the final whistle.

It appeared a handful of visiting fans had made it into the home section, with stewards required to break up the brawling.

Read more

Graphic shows Europa League quarter-final draw with head-to-head records, and summary of last seasons finish and previous best performances.
Graphic shows Europa League quarter-final draw with head-to-head records, and summary of last seasons finish and previous best performances.

Liverpool fans greeted by 'Hillsborough murderers' banner on outskirts of Manchester  

Preview

We look at some of the issues surrounding the game.

WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF UNITED WINNING BY AT LEAST TWO CLEAR GOALS?

A 2-0 victory is the bare minimum required by Louis van Gaal's side to avoid an exit in 90 minutes. United have won by two clear goals 11 times this season but since November they have managed it against only Stoke, Shrewsbury, Derby and FC Midtjylland.

SO WHAT IS THE PLAN LOUIS?

Having struggled to cope with Liverpool's pressing game at Anfield, Van Gaal has to strike the right balance in the return leg. His side need goals but cannot afford to concede as that would leave them requiring four.

The decision to play Marcus Rashford on the right wing in the first game was unfair on the youngster, whose unexpected success has come at centre-forward, but the whole team managed just one shot on target between them. Van Gaal has to take greater risks with a more open game in order to create more chances.

CAN UNITED GAIN ANY ENCOURAGEMENT FROM HISTORY?

Only one team has ever progressed in an all-English European tie after losing the first leg by two goals - United themselves against Tottenham in the Cup Winners' Cup in 1963-64.

United have also achieved the same feat three other times in Europe, against Athletic Bilbao, Barcelona and, most recently Olympiacos in 2013-14. In their five European matches at Old Trafford this season they have won four and drawn one, scoring 11 times and conceding three.

WHAT IS LIVERPOOL'S APPROACH?

Jurgen Klopp is not the sort of manager who will shut up shop and look to escape with a goalless draw. Having had a full week to recover his players and prepare a gameplan he will be expect his side to be proactive.

They are likely to employ the pressing game which was so successful in scoring twice at Anfield and reducing their opponents to bit-part players in the game, although probably at selected periods. Klopp may employ a small degree of caution but the idea will be to exploit the space United offer them as they push for goals.

WHO ARE THE KEY PLAYERS?

Striker Anthony Martial and Juan Mata, who was anonymous as captain at Anfield, have to find holes in Liverpool's defence. Marouane Fellaini, if selected, could exploit well-publicised deficiencies in the air providing United can win some set-pieces, having failed to earn a single corner a week ago.

Goalkeeper David de Gea may have to produce more heroics to prevent his side's task becoming even more difficult. Liverpool's expected centre-back pairing of Mamadou Sakho and Dejan Lovren have to maintain encouraging signs of a promising partnership, while Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino will look to spring the trap at the other end with pace and pressing.

Online Editors

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph