Liverpool, Dortmund through in Europa League
Liverpool eased past Manchester United to seal their place in the draw for the quarter-finals of the Europa League, where Borussia Dortmund and holders Sevilla are looking like the teams to beat.
Jurgen Klopp’s side saw off old rivals Manchester United as a 1-1 second-leg draw at Old Trafford on Thursday saw them win their last-16 tie 3-1 on aggregate.
United had it all to do after losing last week’s first leg 2-0 but they were given hope when Anthony Martial scored from the penalty spot just past the half-hour mark after the Frenchman was fouled in the box by Nathaniel Clyne.
However, Daniel Sturridge struck the bar from a free-kick before Philippe Coutinho scored a superb goal for Liverpool just prior to the break, cutting in from the left and chipping past David de Gea.
That left United needing three more goals to stay in Europe and they never looked like doing enough in the second half to prevent an exit that only piles more pressure on manager Louis van Gaal.
“Both teams had chances, we didn’t play as well as we did in the first leg but we did enough,” said Liverpool’s James Milner.
Klopp’s old side Dortmund eased through with the prolific Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring twice in their 2-1 win away to Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane that saw them win the tie 5-1 on aggregate.
The Gabon striker lashed a swerving long-range strike past Hugo Lloris on 24 minutes and then added another in the second half to take his tally for the season to 35 goals.
Son Heung-Min pulled one back for Spurs, who are now left to focus on their Premier League title challenge.
Holders Sevilla remain in with a chance of winning the Europa League for the third year running, and fifth time in 11 seasons, after beating Swiss champions Basel 3-0.
After a goalless first leg, Basel were looking to keep alive their hopes of reaching a final that will be played in their own stadium, but Sevilla have a fearsome home record and Adil Rami put them ahead before fellow Frenchman Kevin Gameiro added a quick-fire brace.