Champions League: Liverpool beat Villarreal

Liverpool are on the brink of a third Champions League final in five seasons after breaking Villarreal’s resistance to win the first leg of their semi-final 2-0 at Anfield on Wednesday.

Two goals in two minutes neutralized Villarreal boss Unai Emery’s defensive game plan as Pervis Estupinan deflected Jordan Henderson’s cross into his own net before Sadio Mane slotted in a second.

The Reds remain on course for an unprecedented quadruple of Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup, barring a huge upset when the sides meet again in southern Spain in six days’ time, Liverpool’s season will finish in Paris on May 28.
The population of Villarreal would fit inside Anfield but the 3,000 travelling support did their best to match the noise of the home support early on.

In stark contrast to the free-flowing thrills of Manchester City’s 4-3 win over Real Madrid in the other semi-final on Tuesday, Emery’s men followed the same tactic that saw them past Juventus and Bayern Munich by retreating behind the ball.

However, the Yellow Submarine could barely lay a glove on Jurgen Klopp’s men as Liverpool just had to bide their time to make their dominance count.

Punch/Adebukola Aluko


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