A short time ago the first leg of Liverpool and Manchester United’s first ever European clash came to an end – with Liverpool drawing first blood with a 2-0 win, that could have been a lot more if not for Utd’s ‘keeper, De Gea, pulling off several good saves.
The implications for both clubs are potentially huge. Liverpool will hope to take the result and use it to build momentum (following on from three consecutive league wins), whilst, aside from one brief spell in the second half, Manchester United looked uncreative and unable to cope with Liverpool’s attacking pressure. Utd’s fans will expect – indeed demand – that they play with more tempo and gusto in the second leg, but despite their attacking talent, they’ve not been setting the world on fire with their attacking performances this season.
For Liverpool, the signs are promising. Firmino has steadily developed into a player very much capable of threatening defenders and scoring goals, Lallana has improved considerably in recent weeks, and if Sturridge can finally find consistent fitness, his goal-scoring ability is not in doubt. Whilst the Reds’ squad still has weaknesses, Klopp will have the opportunity to address those in the summer, and whilst it’s not likely that he will transform Liverpool into title contenders in one summer, he can hopefully move them in the right direction.