Liverpool managed to reach the finals of the Champions League for the third time in five years, despite a desperate first half.
When Villarreal and Liverpool played against each other in Anfield, the English side didn’t take any chances and dominated the Spaniards completely 2-0. With a headstart of 2-0, Liverpool was expected to easily make it to the finals until Villarreal distorted the dynamics of the game in the first half.
Villarreal started off with a desperate start, eventually making it 2-2 in the first 45 mins of the game. The try-hard mentality of the Spaniards in the first half of the semi-finals jeopardized the chances of Liverpool reaching the finals of the Champions League.
The score was still 2-2 at the hour mark, when Fabinho, Luis Diaz, and Sadio Mane scored 3 goals, making it 5-3, and concluded the match with Liverpool reaching the finals in Paris.
The second-half offense by Liverpool took away all hopes for Villarreal
Liverpool was behind with 2-0 goals from Boulaye Dia and Francis Coquelin while missing shots themselves. Villarreal maintained the pressure till the 55th minute when Liverpool came alarmingly close to scoring off a promptly taken free-kick. The fast pass was intercepted by Alexander-Arnold, who unleashed a long-range shot that bounced off a defender and soared high in the air before reaching the crossbar.
Fabinho regained Liverpool’s aggregate advantage in the 62nd minute after dominating possession in the second half. The Brazilian fired a shot between Rulli’s legs after receiving a ball from Salah right off the side of the goal.
“The problem at half-time was that we knew what was wrong because it was obvious but we didn’t have a situation to show where we did it right,” Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool’s manager said.
Luis Diaz stuck another goal in the 67th minute of the game, giving Liverpool a 2 goal lead over the aggregate. The final goal was made by Sadio Mané in the 74th minute, the third goal in twelve minutes. What an outstanding piece of gameplay. Mané evaded the keeper and guided home the chance to extend Liverpool’s aggregate lead to 5–2.
Now Real Madrid and Manchester City are set to face each other in the Santiago Bernabéu stadium. The winner of the clash will decide who reaches the finals of the Champions League to play against Liverpool.