FC Augsburg exited the UEFA Europa League at the last 32 stage despite a gallant display that ended in a 1-0 loss to Liverpool FC at Anfield on Thursday night.
Liverpool FC 1-0 FC Augsburg (agg. 1-0)
Goals: 1-0 Milner (pen. 5’)
Augsburg went into the game in a strong position in the tie: score an away goal and Liverpool would need to score twice in order to progress. However, the Bundesliga side’s plans for the first half were disrupted almost immediately, as James Milner punished a Dominik Kohr hand-ball to stroke home a penalty inside the opening five minutes.
It was a blow to Augsburg’s hopes, but they pressed just as well as the team coached by former Borussia Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp. Caiuby, who had fired narrowly over before a full minute had been played, then had another opportunity but couldn’t find the net from an angle after intercepting a pass and rounding Simon Mignolet.
Markus Weinzierl’s men survived a huge scare when Daniel Sturridge fired wide in the early moments of the second half, but they were unable to benefit from the reprieve as Liverpool’s massed ranks kept them at bay. Konstantinos Stafylidis almost provided the away goal that would have sent them through with a curling free kick late on, but the ball sailed just wide to bring Augsburg’s memorable European adventure to an end.
Man of the match
The hosts’ front three of Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho and former TSG 1899 Hoffenheim man Roberto Firmino ensured Augsburg’s defence was kept busy all night, but the back line was marshalled superbly by Ragnar Klavan, who was strong in the tackle, covered ground well and distributed the ball intelligently.
Liverpool: Mignolet – Clyne, Lucas, Sakho, Moreno – Can, Milner, Henderson (c) – Firmino, Coutinho (Teixeira 79’), Sturridge (Origi 66’)
Augsburg: Hitz – Verhaegh (c), Janker (Parker 90’), Klavan, Stafylidis – Kohr – Esswein, Altintop, Koo (Moravek 80’), Werner - Caiuby