Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has pinpointed three changes that are necessary if they are to come back to beat Liverpool in the second leg of the last 16 Europa League clash at Manchester United on 18 March after their 2-0 humbling at Anfield on Thursday (10 March). The Red Devils have an uphill task if they want to progress to the quarter-finals of the tournament after a poor performance saw them lose their first ever European encounter to their arch rivals from Merseyside.
A Daniel Sturridge penalty in the first-half and a Roberto Firmino strike with just over 15 minutes to play left the 20-times English champions' European hopes hanging by a thread. While the manager had complaints regarding both the goals, he conceded Liverpool were the deserved winners on the night. The Dutch manager believes high pressure, an electric atmosphere and being more clinical in front of the goal are three key elements necessary to turn the tie in their favour in the second leg at Old Trafford.
"You are right. I cannot deny that. I don't think that we were in the third and fourth phase very creative. But it is also the defence of Liverpool and you can also give the credit for that to Liverpool. We have to improve a lot to create more goals. Okay, one shot, but we also had headers, not in the goal [on target] but outside the goal [off target]," Van Gaal said after the 2-0 defeat at Anfield, as quoted by United's official site.
"You have to believe in everything. We can also create an atmosphere like Liverpool has done with their fans. And then everything is possible. We have to give pressure to them. We did that in the second half but not the first half," the Dutchman added.