Coutinho’s strike sends United crashing
All quiet on the European front as Manchester United crashed out of the Europa League.
My delay in covering the United-Liverpool matchup was due to sadness. I needed to get comfortable with United’s exit after my comeuppance leveled in the final scene after the whistle blew the match to a close. I knew I’ll still write about my club’s defeat at home in the Theater of Dreams.
Manchester United’s Europa League hopes are over after a 1-1 second-leg draw with Liverpool earned the visitors a 3-1 aggregate win to progress to the quarter-finals. Philippe Coutinho’s goal in first-half injury time fired Liverpool into the quarter-finals of the Europa League as they drew 1-1 with Manchester United to secure a 3-1 aggregate win.
13-8-8, 6th Premier League
Anthony Martial 32′
12-8-8, 8th Premier League
Philippe Coutinho 45′
United took a 1-0 lead courtesy of Anthony Martial’s clean penalty. However, Liverpool caused the Red Devils to suffer a serious set back on the stroke of half-time through Philippe Coutinho’s chipper, as Louis van Gaal drew blank on the European stage.
I think it was a moment of magic from Philippe Coutinho as he secured a 1-1 draw for Liverpool and a place in the Europa League quarter-finals at the expense of bitter rivals Manchester United. United’s European progress has finally been halted this season.
According to OmniSport, Marouane Fellaini said that Manchester United players disobeyed the orders of Louis van Gaal against Liverpool. This is medicine after death, isn’t it? This Fellaini’s late information may have to be consigned to the dustbin of Europa League history.
VAN GAAL REACTS TO EUROPA LEAGUE EXIT
Manchester United bowed out of the Europa League on Thursday after a 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Old Trafford, which put the Merseysiders through 3-1 on aggregate. Here are the key points from manager Louis van Gaal’s post-match interviews with MUTV and BT Sport . . .
Van Gaal was a sad man after the Europa League exit
It is very disappointing because we had the chance – that’s the feeling in the dressing room. We created enough chances – [Jesse] Lingard missed with his head, [Juan] Mata from eight metres, [Anthony] Martial also, but the way we conceded that goal, in the last seconds of the first half… If we didn’t concede that goal, it was possible. In the second half, we also had chances – [Marouane] Fellaini with his head, with his foot. But you have to score three goals and that’s not too easy.
Coutinho’s killer blow
You have to give credit to [Philippe] Coutinho. It was a fantastic action. We can also say that we had fantastic actions but you also need a little bit of luck. But when you say that too much as a manager it’s not good. We were 1-0 ahead and we created a lot of chances to be 2-0 already, then we conceded a goal. We didn’t score there so it is then very difficult. The difference in the dressing room was big – Liverpool were relieved, I think, because we played the same way they played in the first half at Anfield.
United players’ commitment
We tried to do everything. We fought until the end. At half-time, the players were so disappointed but, still, we have given everything. I was very pleased the fans were also seeing that and gave them a big applause after the match.
We have to cope with it. We have to recover again after this match. The players have given everything – more than everything, I think – but still we have to play against Manchester City, which is a more important game now because it’s about qualification for the Champions League. And they have one [recovery] day more but that was also the case against Arsenal and we beat them, so we have to believe in it. We can do it but it’s our fifth or sixth game in two weeks.
Possession: United 59% Liverpool 41%
Shots at goal: United 17 Liverpool 13
Shots on target: United 3 Liverpool 7
Corners: United 5 Liverpool 3
United: De Gea; Varela (Valencia 46), Smalling, Blind, Rojo (Darmian 63); Carrick (Schweinsteiger 71), Fellaini; Lingard, Mata, Martial; Rashford.
Subs not used: Romero, Williams, Schneiderlin, Memphis.
Booked: Blind, Fellaini, Schweinsteiger
It is still ‘all quiet on the European front as Manchester United crashed out of the Europa League’.
Still, Up Man U!