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    Liverpool Score Three in the Second Half to Win Return Leg at Villarreal, Move on to Champions League Finals

    Jurgen Klopp Liverpool

    Football   |   May 11, 2022

     

    All eyes were on Estadio de la Ceramica on Tuesday as hosts Villarreal came up short in the second leg, 3-2, to lose the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 5-2 aggregate.

    Liverpool scored three goals in 12 minutes in the second half to booth their third Champions League final in the last five years. They will play either Manchester City or Real Madrid.

    Villarreal looked to be on track to make history as they were up 2-0 at the break after losing at Anfield in the first leg 0-2. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp added Luis Diaz to the pitch at the break and the substitution seemed to change the momentum.

    “We obviously made it pretty tricky for ourselves but we knew before that these kind of things can happen,” Klopp said. “Life is always about how you can react when things don’t go your way. Getting the first goal after two or three minutes, that’s the opposite of what you want. Respect to Villarreal. Stadium, team, coach. Unbelievable. They put us under pressure man-to-man all over the pitch and we didn’t play football at all.”

    Fabinho opened up the scoring for Liverpool as his powerful shot went past goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli, assisted by Mohamed Salah. Diaz scored soon after on a cross down from Trent Alexander-Arnold. Sadio Mané put the series out of reach with his goal in the 74th minute.

    “We never tend to make these Champions League semis easy for ourselves,” Alexander-Arnold said. “It was difficult for us [in the] first half, sometimes you can’t really control the game the way you want to. They started the game very well, scored early goals which is obviously what they wanted to do, but like I said, we got the game done.”

    The win on Tuesday extended Liverpool’s recent unbeaten streak to 13 games overall.

    Despite the loss on Tuesday, Villarreal and Unai Emery have a lot to be proud of.

    A year after winning their first major European trophy, Villarreal made it all the way to the Champions League semis.

    “Liverpool deserve to play in the final,” Emery said. “The difference in the two matches was with them.”

    Liverpool will get back to Premier League action later this weekend when they host Tottenham. The Champions League Final is set for 28 May at Saint-Denis’s Stade de Frace in Paris.

     

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