Saturday, December 10, 2022

Liverpool eye Champions League final after defeating Villarreal

Liverpool eye Champions League final after defeating Villarreal

The English club registered a 2–0 win at home against Spanish opponents in the first leg of the semi-finals.

Jurgen Klopp warned that Liverpool must remain “on alert” despite having a leg up in the Champions League final, which saw a 2–0 win over Villarreal in the first leg of their semi-final clash at Anfield.

Two goals in two minutes undermined Villarreal boss Unai Emery’s defensive game plan on Wednesday, as Pervis Estupinon slammed Jordan Henderson’s cross into his own net before Sadio Mane slipped a second.

The Reds remain on course for an unprecedented quadruple the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup.

Liverpool’s season will end with a third Champions League final in five seasons in Paris on 28 May, except for a massive upset when they meet again within six days in southern Spain.

“It’s 2-0 at half-time,” said Liverpool boss Klopp. “You have to be absolutely alert, 100 percent on time and play the second half like we played the first. We know it will be a difficult environment for us.”

In contrast to the free-flowing thrill of Manchester City’s 4-3 win over Real Madrid in the second semi-final, Emery’s men on Tuesday followed the same strategy that saw them trailing Juventus and Bayern Munich behind the ball .

However, the Yellow Submarine could barely put a glove on Klopp’s men as Liverpool just had to spend their time trying to dominate.

“2-0 is a clear, deserved result,” said Emery. “It could have been worse but we still have a chance. I want to show that we are capable of playing a different game at home.

Goals came early in the second half – and within 133 seconds of each other – as Villarreal left-back Estupinon inadvertently deflected a cross by Henderson into his own net in the 53rd minute, only one looping by goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli. Managed to tip the ball. His own net.

One goal can quickly turn into two on these energy-charged European nights at Anfield and that’s what happened again, with Villarreal still shaken from conceding the opener when Mane ran over Mohamed Salah’s through-ball and Rulli Toe-poked a low finish ahead. ,

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