LIVERPOOL INTO THE FINAL: Reds demolish Villarreal 3-0 to end 9 year wait for European final

Europa League Semi Final 2nd Leg
Thursday 05 May 2016 - 8:05 pm
Anfield
Liverpool3
0Villarreal
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⚽️ own goal7'
⚽️ Sturridge63'
⚽️ Lallana81'
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Liverpool were relentless and comprehensively overturned the first leg 1-0 deficit against Villarreal.

Klopp had warned the Spanish side they had yet to come to Anfield - and Anfield washed all over them.  From the first whistle the home side were dominant and by the 7th minute they had cancelled out the goal from the end of the first leg.

A forced own goal, a Daniel Sturridge strike and then a third from Adam Lallana ensured the reds went through.

Before the game the Liverpool coach was met by flares, fans and passion and this passion transferred directly on to the pitch.

The reds had welcomed Emre Can back into the starting line up and he had an exception first half - whilst Firmino eagerly picked up the baton to put in one of his displays of the season.

Daniel Sturridge celebrates the second against Villarreal

Some quick play by the reds early on saw the ball ping across the area.  Villarreal had foolishly opted to let Liverpool kick towards the Kop in the first half.  Daniel Sturridge reached for the faintest of touches but it only confused Bruno and the ball bounced into the net off the Villarreal skipper.

1-0.

The reds showed lovely movement and possession at times but Villarreal, with one of the meanest defences in Europe, were proving tricky to get past.

As the half wore on the Spanish sides indiscipline grew.  Soldado was lucky to only collect the one yellow card whilst Nathaniel Clyne collected a yellow for a nothing challenge.

On to the second half and there was less intensity from both sides.  Would this be a nailbiting climax?

No.

Eventually a ball was threaded through to Daniel Sturridge who went to put it through the keepers legs.  It bounced on to one post before rolling across the goalline and in to the net.  Jubilation and 2-0.

This was not a wriggly-arms dance kind of moment.

The clock ticked on and Villarreal finally collected a second yellow card which had been, well, on the cards.

Ruiz given a second yellow card after standing on Adam Lallana.

Sturridge's mis-hit shot from a Firmino pass was easily tapped in by Lallana.

The last few minutes of the game were ones to celebrate as 10 man Villarreal had seen the tie turned on its head - now they required two in the final minutes.

Not likely and Liverpool players, manager and fans celebrated at the final whistle.

The reds face Sevilla in Basel for the Europa League final on May 18th and with 7 titles between the two sides it should be an epic encounter.

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