Philippe Coutinho's superb goal ended Manchester United's dreams of a fight-back in the Europa League, comfortably sending Liverpool into the last eight of the competition.

 

The Reds came to Old Trafford with a crucial two-goal cushion, which they secured with their stunning performance in the first leg match in Liverpool a week ago.

 

United played well in the opening stages, with a high-tempo, showing a grit and determination that has been seldom shown this season; Anthony Martial gave the hosts hope, when he scored from the spot in the 32ndminute of the game, after he was fouled by Nathaniel Clyne.

 

Liverpool chased the crucial away goal for most of the opening 45 minutes; the equaliser eventually came right on half-time, when Coutinho scored a cute near-post goal to seal a 3-1 aggregate victory for the visitors.

 

United were not able to fight back in the second half, as Liverpool secured their win in the first ever European meeting between the two clubs.

 

Unfortunately, the final minutes of the match were unsavoury and spoiled by clashes between opposite fans in the visitors’ corner of Old Trafford, where songs of celebration echoed from the 3,000 strong Liverpool supporters. Stewards reacted rapidly and managed to isolate the troubled groups. It was reported that Greater Manchester Police arrested five fans; Uefa may decide to take action.

 

The Reds progression under their charismatic manager Jurgen Klopp has been swift, and the German is instilling his imprint on the side only a mere six months after he came to Anfield. As Liverpool are now going into the draw for the last eight, some of the old European anticipation are revived.

 

The Mersey-siders may meet Klopp's old club Borussia Dortmund, who have become the tournament favourites, after an impressive win against high-flying Tottenham over two legs. Klopp, Borussia’s longest- serving manager, is well respected at the Westfallenstadion; he managed the club from 2008 till 2015 and won two Bundesliga titles with them in 2011 and 2012. #Football