By Coral Barry

Paul Scholes has labelled Manchester United a shambles after the Red Devils lost 2-0 to Liverpool in the Europa League on Thursday.

A Daniel Sturridge penalty and a goal from Roberto Firmino fired Liverpool to a comfortable victory at Anfield.

United never really got going against their historic rivals and Scholes was embarrassed to see a Red Devils side go down so easily in such an important game.

“United were a shambles,” said Scholes speaking after the game to BT Sport. “At 2-0 they’re still in the game, don’t get me wrong.

“But, when you are at United there are certain standards that you have to have and I think they are falling well short.”

Memphis Depay’s shirt pull in the box on Nathaniel Clyne in the first half gave the Merseysiders the chance to go ahead in the 20th minute and Daniel Sturridge coolly struck home the penalty.

Then in the second period Michael Carrick’s miss kick allowed Adam Lallana the opportunity to tee up Firmino from a few yards out.

Louis Van Gaal’s side looked devoid of ideas and grit as Liverpool easily put their most bitter rivals to the sword.

Scholes identified failings at all levels of his former old club since the departure of legendary manager Alex Ferguson in 2013.

Louis van Gaal's position at Manchester United is under growing threat

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The former midfielder, who only ever played for the Manchester club, could not see any current United players living up to the expectations him and former Red Devils had set them.

Scholes said: “When I started at United we had great examples in [Byran] Robson, [Roy] Keane, [Paul] Ince and [Steve] Bruce.

“And when we came through we had to live up to those standards and hopefully take the club on.

“When me and Rio [Ferdinand] were playing, we then set standards. David Moyes, Louis Van Gaal, all these players, every single one of them has fallen short.”

The loss is Van Gaal’s first defeat to Liverpool since taking over as United manager in 2014.

Liverpool take a two goal lead and a clean sheet to Old Trafford next week in the second leg of the last 16 tie.

In other United news, Rio Ferdinand has proclaimed the end of his former club’s dominance of football while another teammate of Ferdinand has questioned whether Van Gaal is the right man in the Manchester hot seat.