Liverpool 2-0 United: Live matchday blog
Liverpool secure a two-goal advantage with an outstanding display in the Europa League last 16, first-leg clash with Manchester United at Anfield.
- Sturridge and Firmino on target for Reds
- Klopp says 'thank you' to LFC fans
- Return leg to be played at Old Trafford in one week's time
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Goodnight from Anfield
So, after a sensational night at Anfield, we're going to call it day and head home. Thanks to those that have followed the beta version of our new live matchday blog throughout the day.
We'll leave you with this simply magnificent image. Night, night.
And more from the manager...
Klopp: "As a human being, I'm like this. I can really celebrate and I can be really happy after this and say that is the best and the greatest. But why should I say this? I don't want to set a limit for them.
"We have a lot of things to improve and we should do this but a lot of things were really good tonight. Pressing, counter-pressing, no time for nothing for Manchester United - that's how it should be. Really good."
Klopp: Thank you, Liverpool fans
The atmosphere made by Reds fans inside Anfield tonight was certainly something special - and the boss wants to say thanks to supporters for the racket they made from start to finish.
“The atmosphere tonight was unbelievable. It was really great and I want to say thank you to everybody that was involved in this atmosphere."
Read what Klopp had to say about the atmosphere in full by clicking here.
Decisive first leg victory over ManU in the Round of 16. Love @LFC 's clean sheet! #LFC— Linda_Pizzuti (Linda Pizzuti Henry) 10th Mar 21:55
Superb LFC display at Anfield tonight to comfortably and deservedly go into that second leg with a 2 goal advantage.— NeilMellor33 (Neil Mellor) 10th Mar 21:58
Superb result for the boys tonight— patrikberger73 (PB) 10th Mar 22:01
Here are all your post-match stats...
And there goes the full-time whistle on an incredible night at Anfield to confirm Liverpool's 2-0 victory in the first-leg clash with Manchester United.
Goals from Daniel Sturridge (penalty) and Roberto Firmino secure a healthy lead to take to Old Trafford next week.
Stay tuned for all the post-match reaction coming up.
There'll be two further minutes of additional time here at Anfield.
Fellaini meets a deep cross from the right with a downward header, but he guides it wide of the post.
Here comes Divock Origi for the Reds, on for Roberto Firmino.
Double change for United - Schweinsteiger and Herrera on, Mata and Schneiderlin off.
Liverpool finally have their deserved second goal as Roberto Firmino prods home from close range after being teed up by Adam Lallana. Get. In.
Golden chance for Jordan Henderson to grab Liverpool's second, but he side-foots over the bar from Adam Lallana's neat pull-back from the touchline.
Clyne smacks one towards goal from the corner of the box, but it's beaten away by De Gea.
Jürgen Klopp opts to make his first change of the night and it's Joe Allen on for Daniel Sturridge.
Crucial intervention from Sakho after Martial looked to have been put through on goal by Mata. The forward slips, allowing Liverpool's No.17 to clear.
Fellaini sees yellow following a late tackle on Clyne.
Simon Mignolet makes a crucial punch from Varela's cross with Martial poised to head it in.
Philippe Coutinho really catches hold of a half-volley 20 yards out - but David de Gea again makes a crucial save, this time tipping it over the crossbar.
Liverpool get the game back underway at Anfield and will attack the Kop in this second half. Come on you Reds!
United make a half-time change - Carrick on for Rashford.
Take a look through the stats from the first 45 minutes at Anfield...
So there we are, then. It's half-time at Anfield after an electrifying opening 45 minutes. Liverpool lead 1-0 thanks to Daniel Sturridge's 20th minute penalty, but David de Gea has saved the visitors from falling further behind on at least three occasions.
Marcus Rashford goes into the book after a late tackle on Alberto Moreno.
And again De Gea denies Liverpool. This time the stopper pushes away Adam Lallana's hooked half-volley from Roberto Firmino's delivery.
Long-range free-kick from Memphis Depay sails well, well wide of Simon Mignolet's goal. Bit audacious, that.
David de Gea is keeping Manchester United in this game. The goalkeeper makes another stunning save, this time from Daniel Sturridge after Roberto Firmino's pass ran kindly for him inside the box; however, his close range volley is blocked by a sprawling stop.
It should be 2-0 to the Reds, but Philippe Coutinho is left clutching his head in his hands after David de Gea claws his close-range effort from Daniel Sturridge's cross off the line. So, so close.
Daniel Sturridge fires Liverpool into the lead from the penalty spot! Get in!
We're underway at Anfield amid an incredible atmosphere - what a YNWA that was!
Here come the lads...
Behind closed doors
Take a glimpse inside the Reds' dressing room at Anfield ahead of kick-off...
And in opposition...
Here's how United will line up: De Gea, Varela, Smalling, Blind, Rojo, Schneiderlin, Fellaini, Memphis, Mata, Martial, Rashford. Subs: Romero, Darmian, Riley, Carrick, Schweinsteiger, Weir, Herrera.
#mufc XI: De Gea, Varela, Smalling, Blind, Rojo, Schneiderlin, Fellaini, Memphis, Mata, Martial, Rashford. https://t.co/snElBB8LML— ManUtd (Manchester United) 10th Mar 18:44
CONFIRMED: LFC's line-up tonight
The team news is in and there are three changes for the Reds as Daniel Sturridge, Nathaniel Clyne and Philippe Coutinho return to the starting XI. There are places for Sheyi Ojo and Brad Smith on the bench.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Lovren, Sakho, Moreno, Can, Henderson, Lallana, Coutinho, Firmino, Sturridge. Subs: Ward, Toure, Benteke, Allen, Origi, Smith, Ojo.
Check out this great snap of the Main Stand building work in the late afternoon Liverpool sunshine earlier tonight.
Team news coming up...
So, confirmed team news is coming up very, very soon - and make sure you're following Liverpoolfc.com and our social media channels for first sight of it.
The stage is set...
This is the current scene inside Anfield with just over two hours to go until kick-off.
The skipper speaks...
“We go into tonight’s Europa League first leg against Manchester United in a confident mood,” says Jordan Henderson.
“We’ve worked hard to get to this stage of the competition and will be giving our all to continue progressing. Any time we face United it’s a big occasion. That probably applies even more so this time as it’s our first European meeting with them.
“Of course the tie won’t be decided here tonight, but it could be won or lost. That’s why we need to make sure we approach it in the correct way to give ourselves the best chance of progressing over the two legs. Only a top-class performance will be enough.”
On the way to the game ⚽️ #LFCvMUFC #kop— RobjonesLFC2 (Rob Jones) 10th Mar 15:44
When these two rivals last met, at Anfield in January, the Reds felt hard done by as United snatched the points. And a look at the Opta stats below shows that Klopp's men performed strongly that day...
Klopp's programme notes
Fancy a sneak peek at the manager's programme notes ahead of tonight's clash? Well, we've got you covered. Click here for an exclusive extract of Jürgen Klopp's pre-match thoughts.
Tickets sold out
Liverpool have confirmed all tickets for tonight's game have completely sold out and supporters not in possession of a ticket are urged not to travel.
Liverpool v English sides in Europe
It doesn't happen too often, but when it does they're usually pretty epic affairs.
So, how have the Reds got on against fellow English sides in continential competition over the years? Swot up on our record by checking out this feature.
It's getting closer...
There's just a little over six hours to go before kick-off tonight and we want to know how you're getting yourself ready for the game? What will your pre-match routine be?
Let us know by Tweeting using #LFCblog.
The best of you?
I think we'd all agree Adam Lallana's in great form right now - but is it the best he's played since he became a Red?
The man himself says: "It's hard to comment on that really. I feel that I've played well in games this season and maybe not had as much of an involvement in terms of goals or creating goals. All that matters to me is the team getting the win, regardless if I'm contributing to the goals. It was nice to score [against City] and anybody will tell you it's nice to get on the scoresheet in big games but as long as the team wins and I feel like I've contributed to that, then I'm happy with that."
Liverpool v United. Head-to-head in Europe... #UEL https://t.co/WM9u8NaRkU— EuropaLeague (UEFA Europa League) 10th Mar 12:10
Bring your scarf
Coming to the game at Anfield tonight? Well then wrap up warm. We're expecting temperatures of around four degrees celsius come kick-off, although no rain is anticipated.
Facts, facts and more facts
Want us to furnish you with another matchday stat?
Here goes, then: This will be the 195th meeting between Liverpool and Manchester United. At Anfield, the overall record stands at 43 wins for the Reds compared to United's 26.
Tell us what you think
So anyway, we're planning to run this live blog service on first-team matchdays before, during and after games.
At the moment, it's still in beta phase and there's loads more to come, but we'd love to get your feedback on it. Let us know what you think by Tweeting us using #LFCblog.
Back in 1973...
...Liverpool met Tottenham Hotspur in this tournament at the semi-final stage - the last all-English tie in the UEFA Cup/Europa League.
Find out how we fared by reading our special feature.
Even in the worst scenario #YNWA @LFC vs Manchester United #europaleague #Anfield https://t.co/VMy2uLg8ug— luchogarcia14 (Luis Garcia) 10th Mar 08:04
Your favourite LFC goals v United
Some early responses to our question on Twitter...
Gary Phillips: Robbie Fowler's free-kick, December 1995 at Anfield. Schmeichel didn't move.
AJ Koirikivi: The best strike has to be Benteke's bicycle kick.
Arfu: Has to be that Riise strike
Remember, keep getting involved by Tweeting us using #LFCblog.
"Now we play against Manchester United in a European tournament – that is absolutely cool. Maybe another person would say, ‘In the Champions League would be cooler’. Maybe, but it’s not a dream land. We are really excited about this game and everybody should be."
United squad news
Louis van Gaal confirmed on Wednesday he expects to have Antonio Valencia on the bench tonight following injury, but the game is likely to have come too soon for Bastian Schweinsteiger to be involved. Jesse Lingard is suspended, while Adnan Januzaj and Tim Fosu-Mensah are ineligible for the fixture.
The main event...
The front cover of tonight's official matchday programme looking sweet...
Don't miss Matchday Live at 19:00 GMT for the build-up to tonight's big game... https://t.co/2Kt23Dg9mg— LFCTV (LFCTV) 10th Mar 11:27
A bit of office debate
On the subject of favourite Liverpool goals against Manchester United, the Liverpoolfc.com editorial team have been having that very same debate. Here's what each of us selected...
Steve Hunter: "Danny Murphy's free-kick in 2000. My first full season commentating for the club and an incredibly sweet moment to win there. Got us believing again and ended up winning a treble."
Chris Shaw: "Fowler's lob at Old Trafford when he scored two - he was my first Liverpool hero and it especially sticks in my mind because I couldn't watch the match live on the day, I had to tape it and watch it on the Monday without knowing the score. What a goal."
David Lynch: "The Aurelio free kick at Old Trafford. We were 2-1 up and Vidic had just been sent off, then he curls that one in to all but confirm we'd beaten them in their own backyard. Brilliant moment."
James Carroll: "Hard to pick just one, but Steven Gerrard's 30-yarder at Anfield back in 2001 takes some beating - fell over the seat in front of me in the Upper Anfield Road celebrating it."
Glenn Price: "I'm going for Aurelio's free-kick as well. We just knew it was our day when that went in."
What's your favourite Liverpool goal against United? Let us know using #LFCblog on Twitter.
300 for Hendo?
A little fact for all your stat fans out there ahead of kick-off tonight: If he's involved, it'll be Jordan Henderson's 300 game of his senior career.
Want another factoid? Manchester United are Liverpool's 123rd opponent in European competition.
Best goals against United?
Our Goal of the Day today is Ryan Babel's dramatic Kop end winner against Manchester United back in 2008 - but what's your favourite Reds strike against our old rivals of all time?
Tweet us using #LFCblog and we'll post a few of your answers on our live blog later today.
'You've got a huge role to play for us tonight'
We also caught up with a freshly-shaven Adam Lallana at the club's training complex on Wednesday. Of course, Anfield will be bouncing tonight - so what role do the fans have to play?
"A massive part. Anfield can be rocking at times and deafening in the night games, it brings that different element to it. I'm just really looking forward to it and they can act as the 12th man for us at times. Hopefully we can start the game well and give them something to cheer about."
To read or watch our exclusive interview with Lallana, click here.
'One of the most exciting games I can imagine'
We sat down with Jürgen Klopp at Melwood earlier this week for an exclusive interview to get the manager's thoughts on tonight's game...and it's fair to say he can't wait for it!
"It's one of the most exciting games I could imagine because it’s Manchester United. We are really looking forward to the game, but we don’t know about the result [yet]. To get the opportunity to try again, that’s really enough for me."
Our chat with Klopp is in two segements. Click here for part one and here for part two.
Kick-off times around the world for our @EuropaLeague clash with @ManUtd... https://t.co/9fMx0Xtjo4— LFC (Liverpool FC) 9th Mar 20:52
Hello, good morning and welcome to Liverpoolfc.com's brand new, live matchday blog service as we begin building up to the small matter of the clash with Manchester United at Anfield tonight. How are the nerves?
Stay with us throughout the day for updates, news and social media reaction ahead of what's sure to be an occasion to remember in front of the Kop.
Want to get in touch and have your say? Tweet us using #LFCblog.