UCL Liverpool vs Villarreal complete review

Liverpool has beaten the underdogs Villarreal at the Estadio de la Cerámica by 3 goals to 2 on Tuesday night and 5-2 on aggregate to advance through to the UEFA Champions League Finals in Paris. Also, keeping their dreams of a possible quadruple still Alive. Their third UCL final in the last five years with lifting the trophy in 2019 in Madrid.

Liverpool executed the game plan very well with absolute conviction throughout both the legs. Liverpool created opportunities from almost every scenario – set-pieces set possession play, etc. and gave very less time for Villarreal to breathe on the ball.

Image Credit: SkySports

Villarreal went on to the first leg at Anfield with full confidence after knocking out the big guns of Juventus and Bayern Munich in the previous rounds. However, Jürgen Klopp’s dominant Liverpool cruised past Villarreal beating them 2 goals to nil courtesy of an own goal from Pervis Estupiñán from a deflected Jordan Henderson effort in the 53rd minute, with Mané later on getting one past Gerónimo Rulli from Salah’s pass inside the box on the 55th minute and were rarely troubled by the Spanish side as they ended the first leg with zero shots on target.

Image Credit: SkySports

2ng leg stats

The return fixture started quite unpredictably, with Villarreal completely dominating in their backyard, netting one in just the 3rd minute of the game, courtesy of a Boulaye Dia tap-in and Francis Coquelin scoring the second on the brink of halftime with some beautiful attacking football by Unai Emery’s men to put some pressure on the visiting side and settle things for the home team for the time being. Liverpool was far too exploited in the first half, leaving empty spaces everywhere, which helped Pau Torres distribute some beautiful balls for the wingers.

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However, everything changed drastically for Villarreal in the second half when Klopp decided to bring on Luis Díaz in place of Diogo Jota, with Díaz switching positions with Mané, who played as a striker. Villarreal conceded 3 goals in just 12 minutes. The comeback started in the 62nd minute with Fabinho’s right-footed strike going in right through the legs of Rulli, who obviously shouldn’t have let that one in. Then Luis Díaz levelled things on the night in the 67th minute with a free header from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s Left-footed cross, which again went through the legs of Rulli. Sadio Mané put the icing on the cake in the 74th minute and shattering the hopes of a comeback for the Spanish side, and once again, no one but Rulli was to be blamed as he had come off his line with Mané dribbling past him some 30 yards from goal and putting it on a plate for him. Since then, everything started to go downhill for the home side, with their dreams of playing in the first-ever UCL Finals all but over.

Image Credit: SkySports

So what do you think? Can Liverpool go all out in the Final and lift the trophy in Paris, taking their tally to seven titles and two in the last three years?

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