Liverpool Football Club powered into the Final of the 2021/2022 UEFA Champions League campaign, following a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Spanish La Liga outfit Villarreal in their semi-final second leg clash at the Estadio de la Ceramica on Tuesday night.
The hosts who lost the first leg 2-0 at Anfield last week, went out of the blocks and got an early goal in the third minute through Boulaye Dia. The Yellow Submarine soon doubled their advantage in the 41st minute through former Arsenal man Francis Coquelin, as they went into the break level on aggregate.
The second half however was a different matter entirely! Reds boss Jurgen Klopp made an impactful substitution by bringing on Colombian winger Luis Diaz for the ineffective Diogo Jota and the Merseysiders sprang back to life. Brazilian midfielder Fabinho pulled one back for the Reds in the 62nd minute as they restored their aggregate lead, while Luis Diaz levelled matters in the 67th minute – heading in Alexander-Arnold’s cross past goalkeeper Rulli, who once again saw the ball go through his legs.
In a complete capitulation, Rulli had a rush of blood to the head as he sprinted out of his goal in an attempt to reach Keïta’s through ball, but was beaten to it by Sadio Mané, who kept his cool to slot home into the empty net.
On the night Villarreal lost their undefeated UCL record at home this season in addition to being knocked out, things got even worse in the 86th minute as Etienne Capoue received a second yellow for a late tackle on Curtis Jones. Meanwhile, Liverpool kept their hopes of a historic quadruple intact, while they have still only lost once in 29 matches across all competitions.
🔴 Live Blog
FULL-TIME AT THE ESTADIO DE LA CERAMICA STADIUM: Villarreal 2-3 Liverpool (AGG 2-5)
86′ MIN: Etienne Capoue makes a bad challenge on Curtis Jones and receives a second yellow card from centre referee Danny Makkelie. He can have an early bath.
RED CARD!!! To Etienne Capoue (Villarreal)
74′ MIN: The Reds have run away with this one! Naby Keita displays great vision and sends a pass to Sadio Mane who shows brilliant composure inside the box to bury the ball from close range in the back of the net.
GOOOAAALLL!!! Villarreal 2-3 Liverpool (AGG: 2-5, S. Mane)
67′ MIN: Trent’s left-footed cross is met by the downward header of Diaz and it goes in between Rulli’s legs. Level on the night and two ahead in the tie!
GOOOAAAALLL!!! Villarreal 2-2 Liverpool (AGG: 2-4, L. Diaz)
62′ MIN: Game on! A great through ball by Mohamed Salah sets up Fabinho inside the box, and he makes no mistake and bangs the ball low into the middle of the goal.
GOOOAAALLL!!! Villarreal 2-1 Liverpool (AGG: 2-3, Fabinho)
SECOND HALF UNDERWAY AT THE ESTADIO DE LA CERAMICA STADIUM: Villarreal 2-0 Liverpool (AGG 2-2)
HALF-TIME AT THE ESTADIO DE LA CERAMICA STADIUM: Villarreal 2-0 Liverpool (AGG 2-2)
41′ MIN: Etienne Capoue showcases his great technique and produces a beautiful lofted cross into the box. Francis Coquelin gets onto the scoresheet by heading inside the left post.
GOOOAAALLL!!! Villarreal 2-0 Liverpool (AGG: 2-2, F. Coquelin)
3′ MIN: What a start from the hosts!!! Boulaye Dia receives the ball inside the box, reacts quickly and without any problems fires the ball into the back of the net.
GOOOAAALLL!!! Villarreal 1-0 Liverpool (AGG: 1-2, B. Dia)
KICK-OFF AT THE ESTADIO DE LA CERAMICA STADIUM: Villarreal 0-0 Liverpool (AGG 0-2)
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has reinstated Mo Salah in attack after he was benched for their Premeir League tie against Newcastle United laasst weekend. Trent Alexander-Arnold also returns to the Starting XI, following his non-involvement with the Magpies last time out while skipper Jordan Henderson is on the substitutes bench tonight.
Villarreal coach Unai Emery makes two changes from the side that began the 2-0 loss at Anfield, and both changes have come up front with Gerard Moreno and Boulaye Dia replacing the duo of Arnaut Danjuma and Samuel Chukwueze.
Here’s how the first leg went at Anfield last week.