You won’t believe how much this Liverpool team has changed

Fernando Torres

Liverpool last made the Round of 16 stage of the Europa League in the 2010-11 edition of the tournament, faltering to Portuguese side Braga, the eventual runners-up.

The Reds head to Old Trafford this Thursday as they aim to defend their 2-0 first leg lead.

I’m recalling Liverpool’s winning XI against French side Lille in the second leg of the 2009-10 Europa League round of 16, the last time Liverpool progressed to the quarter finals of the competition.


Pepe Reina – One of Liverpool’s longest serving goalkeepers, the Spanish stopper played well over 350 games in all competitions from 2005-2013 in his time on Merseyside before the arrival of Simon Mignolet at Melwood signalled the end of Reina’s Liverpool spell. Pepe spent a loan spell at Napoli then an understudy role to Manuel Neuer at Bayern Munich last season before returning to Napoli permanently this season.


Glen Johnson – The former England right-back moved to Stoke this season after six mixed seasons at Anfield. Johnson fell out of favour with Brendan Rodgers last campaign with loanee Javier Manquillo and Emre Can being preferred in defence.

Jamie Carragher – The Liverpool stalwart began his career in 1996 with the Reds and retired there in 2013 with a 1-0 victory over QPR, notching up over 500 Premier League appearances.

Daniel Agger – Returned home to Brondby in Denmark at the end of Liverpool’s impressive second-placed 2013-14 performance after getting squeezed out by Mamadou Sakho and new signing Dejan Lovren.

Emiliano Insua – The Argentinian joined Liverpool as a teenager and left in 2011 after a loan spell at Galatasaray. His most memorable moment for the club was a spectacular volley against Arsenal in the League Cup. Now 27, the left-back has struggled to settle at a club with short stints at Sporting, Atletico Madrid, Rayo Vallecano and currently, Stuttgart.


Javier Mascherano – The hard man in holding midfield spent three and a half successful seasons with Liverpool before moving to Barcelona in 2010 where he is still plying his trade at 31. One of the most impressive players in Argentina’s run to the 2014 World Cup final.

Lucas Leiva – In his ninth season now at Liverpool, having played over 200 Premier League matches since his move to Gremio. The Brazilian is the only player in the line-up from this match to still be in the squad today.

Dirk Kuyt – A cult hero in his six seasons on Merseyside, the affectionately nicknamed Flying Dutchman contributed many vital goals at Liverpool including goals in the 2007 Champions League Final and 2012 League Cup Final. After a solid spell at Turkish side Fenerbahce, Kuyt has returned to his home, playing in his second spell at Feyenoord where he has recaptured some of his best form at 35.

Steven Gerrard – After seventeen stellar seasons at Anfield, Gerrard was let go by Brendan Rodgers to join former team-mate Robbie Keane at American club L.A. Galaxy. Scored the opening goal in this encounter.

Ryan Babel – A skilful winger or forward who never quite lived up to his potential, Babel moved to Hoffenheim in Germany in 2011. A solitary season there and in his home country the Netherlands with Ajax, preceded a move to Kasimpasa in Turkey. Babel now plays for Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates League.


Fernando Torres – One of Liverpool’s greatest strikers of the Premier League era, Torres left for a hefty fee of 50 million pounds in January 2011 where he won the Champions League and the Europa League before spending time at AC Milan and old club Atletico Madrid since. However, ‘El Nino’ has failed to reach his Liverpool form again.


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