Again and again and again it had happened. It had become the norm. Everytime this season Liverpool came up against half decent teams (no offense Fergie), their opponent’s goalkeepers turned out to be the best player of the day.
Thursday night in the Europa League was not going to be different. The trend would continue. De Gea was in goal – and you know how good the Spaniard is. Another goalie and Liverpool would have won by four of five!
Liverpool was in control of the game from the first minute (the Anfield effect). They played brilliant football and their first goal of the game was a testament to that. Some intricate passing left Depay no better judgement than to foul Firminho in the box, after which Sturridge stepped up and put Liverpool one up from the spot.
Manchester United was absent in this game. It was like as if they didn’t show up – more like they were chased out by Liverpool… lol). Even when they sought to settle into the game, Liverpool controlled it some more. Who to blame? I’m not even going to mention Louis Van Gaal’s name.
Marcus Rashford smarting from his Arsenal and Mitdjelland heroics could only contribute to this game by throwing himself at Sakho and falling to the floor whilst Sakho held the ball unperturbed. Praise is deserving for the entire Liverpool team as they stepped up to the plate.
Talk of Clyne who was in lethal form, bossing his position and throwing in wonderful tackles whilst Moreno kept stealing the ball when United decided to switch flanks. Sakho and Lovren were solid at the back in what is fast becoming a lovely partnership whilst Mignolet only had routine saves to make. Firmino and Coutinho were a class act that was constantly dribbling, passing and wrecking havoc while Henderson and Emre Can bossed the entire midfield (and to think Uncle Louis spent that much buying midfielders…)
The second goal came from an intricate passing (intricate again!) and pressing game which saw Firmino continue his fine goalscoring form. Liverpool got Anfield bouncing on one of the glorious nights that usually makes its history while United’s contribution was the same sorry displays they have been associated with in the English Premiership since Sir Alex decided to retire. For Liverpool fans, Klopp defeated the flop in front of the Kop.
My good friend @Kopainzy, a Liverpool fan, said before the game: “Van Gaal can’t beat his chest, his children or around the bush…” and Uncle Louis did not disappoint. As usual he saw something wrong with the game’s officiating and claimed – correctly though because Henderson, in the build up to the goal, was offside – that Liverpool’s second goal should have been cancelled. But then, what’s that compared to your team being completely outplayed?
Maybe I should not talk about playing Baby Rashford against an eternal rival. I’d leave the Man. Utd fans to decide that.
Another friend of mine, Akanji Olakunle, rightfully predicted on the blog’s Whatsapp group, before the game: “Van Gaal doesnt know how 2 beat any1… Moreover Klopp seems 2 b a better cup manager”. Two fantastic predictions! (Maybe I’ll start asking him for some betting tips.) And Klopp showed just that. Liverpool fans are in good hands. Can’t say the same about Manchester United.
P.S: Wondering about this group? Want to join a group where you can express yourself footballically and talk all day long about football, even all night long sef? You can hit me up on twitter @rotdav. I’ll add you to the group and you can meet the football guys.
Author: Rotimi “Papi the Great” Daramola
Rotimi Daramola aka Papi the Great is the owner of ForTheGoal.
A freelance sports writer who focuses on football, Rotimi is also a freelance writer, a copywriter and a football analyst who regularly appears on radio and television to talk football. You can follow him on twitter @papi_thegreat to keep up with his writings, engage him and also find out about how you can secure his writing services.