Liverpool 2-0 Man United: Sturridge and Firmino give Reds first leg lead

on 10.03.2016


Liverpool won 2-0 against Man United on Thursday, in the first-leg of their Europa League last-16 clash. Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino got the goals.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Thursday, March 10, 2016: Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge scores the first goal against Manchester United's goalkeeper David de Gea from a penalty kick during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 1st Leg match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool 2-0 Man United

Europa League last-16 – Anfield – Thursday 10th March 2016

Goals: Sturridge pen (19), Firmino (73)

Pre-match

Jurgen Klopp named arguably his best possible side for the visit of United, in what was an enormous game for English football’s two biggest clubs.

Nathaniel Clyne and Sturridge came back into the team, after being rested against Crystal Palace on Sunday, with Jon Flanagan and Divock Origi missing out.

Philippe Coutinho also returned, having only featured as a substitute at Selhurst Park, and the Brazilian came in for James Milner, who was out because of illness.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Thursday, March 10, 2016: Liverpool's players line up for a team group photograph before the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 1st Leg match against Manchester United at Anfield. Back row L-R: Mamadou Sakho, Dejan Lovren, goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, Roberto Firmino, Emre Can, Nathaniel Clyne. Front row L-R: Alberto Moreno, Adam Lallana, captain Jordan Henderson, Philippe Coutinho Correia, Daniel Sturridge. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

First-half

Youngster Marcus Rashford almost stole in early, and Jordan Henderson was booked, as Liverpool enjoyed the best of the ball in the opening exchanges.

In the 19th minute, the Reds were awarded a penalty. Nathaniel Clyne was brought down by Memphis Depay just inside the era, and Sturridge converted the spot-kick with aplomb.

Advantage Liverpool, and it was fully deserved.

David de Gea produced an excellent stop to deny Coutinho from close-range soon after, but the Brazilian should really have scored with the goal gaping. Henderson also tested the Spaniard from range.

United barely offered a thing in the first half an hour, and there was a feeling that Klopp’s men could really put their rivals to the sword.

De Gea made another big stop, this time to keep out Sturridge, as the goalkeeper continued to show why he is easily his side’s most important player.


United’s star man showed good reflexes to keep out Adam Lallana shortly before the break, and it was fitting that another Liverpool chance was the final moment of note in the first-half.

It had been a brilliant performance by the Reds, and the only negative was that they weren’t further ahead.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Thursday, March 10, 2016: Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge celebrates scoring the first goal against Manchester United's goalkeeper David de Gea from a penalty kick during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 1st Leg match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Second-half

Louis van Gaal replaced the ineffective Rashford with Michael Carrick at the interval, as the Dutchman tweaked his tactics for the second-half. Liverpool were unchanged.

Morgan Schneiderlin shot straight at Simon Mignolet five minutes after the restart, as United enjoyed a little more of the game.

De Gea, becoming more infuriating by the minute, kept out Coutinho’s dipping long-range strike, but Van Gaal’s team continued to look more threatening than they did in the opening 45 minutes.

Joe Allen replaced Sturridge in the 64th minute, as Klopp tried to dominate a little more in midfield.

Clyne, impressive all evening, tested De Gea from distance midway through the second-half, and Henderson miscued a good chance from just inside the penalty area.

The lead was doubled with 17 minutes left on the clock, in what was a potentially huge moment in the tie. Lallana teed up Firmino, following Carrick’s error, and he finished clinically. Anfield went absolutely wild with joy.


The remainder of the game saw Liverpool pushing for a third, although Marouane Fellaini headed narrowly wide for the hosts late on.

The final whistle was met with much joy, and a brilliant Reds display was richly rewarded.

European Football - UEFA Europa League - Round of 16 1st Leg - Liverpool FC v Manchester United FC

TIA Man of the Match: Nathaniel Clyne

Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Lovren, Sakho, Moreno, Can, Henderson, Lallana, Coutinho, Firmino (Origi 83′), Sturridge.

Subs not used: Ward, Toure, Benteke, Allen, Smith, Ojo

Man United: De Gea, Varela, Smalling, Blind, Rojo, Schneiderlin (Schweinsteiger 79′), Fellaini, Memphis, Mata (Herrera 79′), Martial, Rashford (Carrick 46′).

Subs not used: Romero, Darmian, Riley, Weir

Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP)

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