It’s the buzz of the Europa League. The English powerhouse Liverpool took a firm hold on their last 16 all-English Europa League tie with archrival Manchester United, comfortably beating their greatest rival 2-0 in the first leg at Anfield.
A first half penalty from England striker Daniel Sturridge and a second half goal from Brazilian international Roberto Firmino helped Liverpool win the game and send Jurgen Klopp’s Red Devils to Old Trafford next week with a two-goal advantage, which could prove decisive.
Klopp has already anticipated the difficulty and challenges of the game against Manchester United, where he described it as “the Mother of all games.” The match is the first ever meeting in a European tie between two most successful football clubs Manchester United and Liverpool.
“Games like this are the mother of all football games. What can I say? All the world is excited about this game and this chance,” Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp said, via the Mirror.
England striker Sturridge opened the scoring goal for Liverpool and gave Liverpool a 15th minute lead after Memphis Depay fouled Nathaniel Clyne and Roberto Firmino added a second one with 17 minutes left in the game.
Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana both went close to adding a second goal before Brazilian Roberto Firmino came in to beat the heroic Spaniard goalkeeper David De Gea.
Manchester has not created a single chance and only the brilliance of goalkeeper David de Gea has kept Liverpool at bay as the Spanish international made a succession of magnificent saves. De Gea’s brilliance denied both Coutinho and Lallana in the first half and produced a number of fine saves throughout the game to keep Liverpool from scoring goals.
Manchester vice-captain Michael Carrick was brought on at half-time to lead a switch to a defensive three, but this ended up making the mistake for Liverpool’s second goal.
Liverpool steadily ramped up the pressure, and on 18 minutes Memphis Depay was penalised for a clumsy foul on Nathaniel Clyne, which led to a penalty shot.
Striker Daniel Sturridge stepped up to take the penalty shot, and although the Spanish goalkeeper David De Gea got a hand on the ball, but it wasn’t enough to keep Liverpool from scoring that goal.
The end for Manchester United came on 73 minutes when vice-captain Carrick mistimed a clearance, sending the ball straight to Adam Lallana, who found the Brazilian striker Roberto Firmino. The 25-year-old Brazilian wasted no time and quickly takes the devastating shot from close range, ending the game for Manchester United.
Picture Courtesy: Sdo216/Wikimedia Commons