After winning the first leg by 2-0,
Liverpool had a
strong advantage going into the second leg at Old Trafford. The Reds didn’t
have to take as many chances as in the game at Anfield, thus they approached the game more defensively in order to progress
without any late slip ups into the next round. Defensive partners Dejan Lovren
and Mamadou Sakho were immense (Sakho won 8 duels and made 6 tackles). James
Milner was deployed as a left back due to Alberto Moreno’s last moment injury,
and, despite playing out of position, the vice captain put a solid performance.
However, Nathaniel Clyne had his worst performance in a Liverpool
shirt with plenty of mistakes throughout the game.
In this image, we can see that Lovren steps out of the box to mark Juan Mata, leaving a huge gap in the defense. Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne don’t communicate with each other, hence they mark the same space. That leaves Anthony Martial all alone asking for the ball. When the ball goes to the Frenchman it’s too late for Clyne to mark him effectively. The right back stamps him and gives away a penalty which put Manchester United back in the game.
Martial is alone once again
After Coutinho’s goal Manchester United had a lot to do in order to spoil
Liverpool’s party. But Liverpool’s
defending wasn’t up to scratch for the full 90 minutes. In this case Mata has
the ball in the edge of the area. Sakho and Lovren have a huge gap in between
them as Milner is slow to recover. That leaves again Clyne marking Fellaini
instead of Martial. Because of his height Fellaini could easily win a header in
a clash with Clyne. Although the ball didn’t end up either to Fellaini either
to Martial, nonetheless it proves why Clyne had such a rough night coping with
Defense improves significantly
This was the last big chance for Manchester United. Liverpool’s defending has improved by miles throughout the game, Sakho and Lovren are now close enough to each other and Clyne is in front of Martial meaning that a potential ball by
chance. The only problem was Emre Can not noticing quickly enough Fellaini’s
run inside the box leading to a shot which could put Manchester United back
into the game. After that Manchester United couldn’t break through Valencia Liverpool’s defense.
Liverpool was once more, under Klopp,
exceptional. In the 30th minute Firmino has the ball with five
players in front of him. Can and Lallana are making runs into the box;
Sturridge is all alone waiting for the ball, while on the other side asks for the
ball seeing that Varela is marking Can’s run. However, despite having so many
options Roberto Firmino blows the chance deciding to shoot straight at De Gea. Henderson
This time 4
Liverpool players are in front of Coutinho
giving him options. Lallana and Sturridge stretch the Manchester United defense
as shown in this image. The back four has a huge distance between each other. gets into the
space between the centre backs. Coutinho passess the ball perfectly but the
skipper misses the target by a mile, failing to
level things up. Henderson
Sturridge has a bad day at the office
Daniel Sturridge didn’t enjoy the best of nights but he has only himself to blame. In this image he has the ball inside the area and support is given by Firmino and Coutinho. The Englishman could possibly cut inside and shoot with his left foot. However, he shoots with his weak foot in a tight angle leading to ironic cheers by the home crowd.