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Liverpool vs Villarreal (2-0): Match Summary and Analysis


There weren’t any major surprises in the team selected by [coach 455353]. [player 129820] started in goal with the expected four in front. Fabinho played in his usual position with Henderson and Thiago on either side. Mane started down the middle as Diaz was on the left and top-scorer Salah on the right.

Emery also didn’t surprise with his team selection. [player 129502] partnered [player 380970] at the heart of the defence, with [player 335705] and Estupinan being the wider defenders. Parejo and [player 1276] continued in the midfield. [player 97664] and [player 835] playing wider in a compact midfield. Chukwueze and Danjuma led the line.


The game had a slow start with no team threatening to score an early goal. [team 8] were dominating the ball but were not penetrating the away side enough.

The game’s first big chance came in the 11th minute when Salah delivered a lovely cross for Mane, whose touch was poor. A couple of minutes later, Diaz took a shot from a long way which was stopped unconvincingly by [player 186418]. It was after that 10th-minute mark that Liverpool hit the gear. [team 3477] were struggling to deal with Liverpool’s intensity.

Liverpool were struggling to open up a well-drilled Villarreal defensive unit. The home side needed Thiago to have more impact on the game. The away side were finding it difficult to keep hold of the ball.

With Liverpool’s pressure increasing, [player 1917] received the ball just outside the box, in between the lines and was fouled. The free-kick range was very much suitable for Trent. However, the result was disappointing as the right-back failed to beat the wall.

At the half-hour mark, [player 241036] unleashed another long-range strike from the left wing. It was saved again by Rulli, who was having a fine evening so far. Mane also went close when his volley was deflated off-target. Villarreal were giving the ball away cheaply in the midfield area time and time again. Although, Liverpool were failing to capitalize on those mistakes.

Another big chance for Salah was created beautifully by the combination of [player 1078] and Trent. The Egyptian, however, missed the target. With Liverpool unable to play through Villarreal, [player 31857] hit the ball from a long way out and hit the crossbar.


As expected, after a disappointing first half, Liverpool started the second half with higher intensity. They were pegging Villarreal back and were forcing mistakes in their box. A few minutes later, Liverpool thought they had the lead when [player 96099] scored. However, it was instantly disallowed for an offside.

Liverpool’s high intense start to the half paid off as the home side took the lead 8 minutes after the restart. [player 323]’s cross was deflected into the goal. Rulli stretched but could not stop the ball from going in.

Liverpool kept coming and got their second goal three minutes later. [player 4125] received the ball in between the lines and played a lovely ball into [player 1389]’s path, whose touch was enough to double his side’s advantage.

Villarreal were not now in big problem. They cannot go on and make it an end to end as that would have further helped Liverpool. However, after being two goals down, they had to be more aggressive. The reds almost had their third goal of the night, but Robertson’s finish was disallowed for an offside.

[player 1743] took a chance from far, which was kept out by Rulli. Moments later, Villarreal gave the ball away, and Diaz’s curled effort was deflected away for a corner.

Klopp made a double change. [player 159917] and [player 32640] came on for Mane and Henderson. [coach 455907] made a triple change with [player 95094], [player 186147] and [player 2206688] coming in to change the game for the away side. [player 1988], [player 187969] and [player 15434627] were replaced. The Liverpool boss made another double change with Trent and Diaz coming off for [player 1453] and [player 1453]. Emery made his side’s final change of the game with [player 186095] replacing [player 26491], who had a frustrating night against Van Dijk and [player 100556].

The game finished as Liverpool got the job done at the end. It could have been worse for Villarreal, but they did well and kept the gap at two goals.

Fixture Details: [fixture 18509784]

What did Klopp say after the game?

After the win in the first leg, the Liverpool manager said, “The way we played, the way we defended very well, the way we attacked very well. We had to score goals. It was clear we had to keep going.

“Villarreal, in one moment, when they can get out of the press, they are immediately a threat. If we don’t win the ball there, we are in between everything. We did that well most of the time.”

“Two-nil on aggregate but it is halftime. No more, no less.

“Nothing has happened yet. If you play a game and are 2-0 at halftime, you have to be 100 per cent on alert. We know we will go there and it will be a tricky atmosphere for us. If they beat us 2-0 over there and go to the final they deserve it.

“If they don’t, we deserve it.”

Author: Devashish Akolekar

The inspiring journey of Villarreal continued as they came to Anfield for their first leg against Klopp’s in-form Liverpool side.

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