Louis van Gaal has refused to discuss his future at Manchester United once more after intense criticism.
It seemed the Reds had turned the corner and belatedly found some consistency, with a four-match winning run complemented by home-grown teenager Marcus Rashford’s remarkable emergence.
The feel-good factor at Old Trafford has proved short-lived, though, with United’s Champions League hopes seriously dented by back-to-back losses.
Sunday’s uninspiring 1-0 defeat at West Brom diminished their top-four hopes and a tepid display at Anfield saw the Reds’ chances of qualifying through the Europa League narrow on Thursday.
Turning around the 2-0 last-16 loss is a big ask when Liverpool arrive for the second leg – a match bookended by a Premier League trip to rivals Manchester City and, firstly, an FA Cup quarter-final at home to West Ham.
Those matches could go a long way to determining under-fire Van Gaal’s future, even if the Dutchman did not want to talk about it ahead of Sunday’s match.
“I don’t want to discuss that with you because you are not part of the people who will determine,” Van Gaal said.
“This (defeat to Liverpool) of course gives us much more pressure.
“We are in three competitions and after the defeat in Midjytlland you have sacked me already and then we are standing up, and then we are in the next round and it is possible also against Liverpool.
“We have to play that match for the second time and then at home and then we create that atmosphere and then maybe we score some goals. It shall be very difficult, I know that, but it is possible.
“It is not impossible. Against West Ham United, it is also possible. At Old Trafford, we (would) normally win our games.”