I wanted Manchester United, insists Jürgen Klopp after Europa League draw

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp declared that he wanted Manchester United in the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League after his side were pitted against their bitter rivals in Friday's draw.

I wanted Manchester United, insists Jürgen Klopp after Europa League draw
(Picture: Getty Images)

Jürgen Klopp insisted that Manchester United was the draw he wanted after Liverpool were paired with their rivals in the last-16 of the UEFA Europa League on Friday afternoon.

The draw in Nyon sees the two take each other on for the first ever time in continental competition, with the Reds playing host at Anfield on March 10 before the return leg at Old Trafford a week later.

Although their recent record against United makes for wretched reading, with Louis van Gaal having beaten Liverpool four times from four attempts since taking over, Klopp says that he had insisted to his backroom staff that he wanted to take the Red Devils on in the next round.

James Milner's early first-half penalty was enough to seal their place in the next round and Klopp, speaking prior to the Reds' Capital One Cup final on Sunday, told reporters at Melwood that the draw is "great" because they "deserve these games."

He acknowledged that "obviously it is not easy" but said: "You can ask my staff, when they asked me 'who do you want?' I said 'Manchester United'."

Reds have unfinished business with United, says Klopp

Klopp shares a joke with Van Gaal in the Reds' 1-0 loss to United at Anfield last month. (Picture: Getty Images)
Klopp shares a joke with Van Gaal in the Reds' 1-0 loss to United at Anfield last month. (Picture: Getty Images)

Klopp, who saw his side lose 1-0 in agonishing fashion to their old rivals on Merseyside last month, says they "have to clear something" with United because they "had a good game" against them in January but ended up losing, continuing: "It was not what we deserved on that day, but we got it."

"Life gives us the chance to make it better and that's what we have to do," continued the German, who said that is what his team will "try" to do as he explained there were "no easy games" in this round of the competition.

"We had no chance for an easy game," insisted Klopp, adding: "So we have Manchester United - cool!" 

The Reds boss sees his side take on Manchester City in the cup final, before hosting the same opponents in the Barclays Premier League on Wednesday night. That's followed by a tough trip to an out-of-sorts Crystal Palace side before the two European legs against United.