Dwight Yorke questions Man United squad ahead of Liverpool last-16 clash
Dwight Yorke says the Manchester United players need to raise their game for the visit of Liverpool on Thursday night
Dwight Yorke has questioned whether the Manchester United players comprehend the size of their Europa League last-16 clash against Liverpool.
The Red Devils suffered a humbling 2-0 loss to their bitter rivals at Anfield last week after Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino scored either side of half-time in the first leg.
Liverpool make the return trip the 20-time English champions this week fresh from a seven-day rest for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
However, United were in action on Sunday as Anthony Martial’s equaliser rescued a late 1-1 draw with West Ham United at Old Trafford in the FA Cup quarter-final.
Former treble-winning striker Yorke insisted that the United players needed to raise their performance level for the visit of their fiercest rival at Old Trafford.
Speaking exclusively to 888sport, Yorke said: “The players have to take responsibility too. The manager always gets the brunt of it and quite rightly so – that’s the nature of the beast – but did these players understand what it’s all about with Manchester United and Liverpool? To put in a really lame performance to that level.”
Yorke added: “He wouldn’t have needed to because all the players would have been cranked up anyway. They would have known this is Liverpool and these are the big occasions where you want to show the watching world. When these two sides come together everyone is glued to the television, everyone wants to see the game.
“Even if it’s the Europa League because of the history between the two clubs everyone wants to be a part of that and for those players to turn up and play like they did is just not acceptable. They have a second bite of the cherry and we’ve seen how football can be at times. I won’t give up on them yet but they are making it extremely difficult.”
United are unbeaten in ten European home games (W8 D2), and have recovered from a 2-0 away defeat to win a European tie more than once, perhaps most notably beating Barcelona 3-0 at Old Trafford in the 1983/84 European Cup Winners’ Cup quarter-finals after a 2-0 first-leg loss.
Liverpool kept a fourth successive clean sheet in the first leg – one more in the second leg and they will match Napoli’s Europa League record for successive games without conceding.
Read the full 888sport interview with Dwight Yorke here, including how he thinks this week is make or break for Manchester United.