A diagonal ball flies to the right and is completed by Trent Alexander-Arnold’s right foot and brought in. There, Mo Salah also takes the ball out of the air and puts his right-footed shot over the crossbar. This is a technically very demanding attack, which, however, is denied the crown of the work.
Sadio Mané takes a shot from the right foot from the inside to the right. The ball is cleared off the boot of the defender, Raul Albiol. After the ensuing corner kick, Mo Salah is also blocked as he tries to shoot.
Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool FC) is shown the yellow card.
Judge Szymon Marciniak pulls out the yellow box for the first time. Virgil van Dijk is looking for a foul on Samuel Chukwueze. After the quarter-finals, all yellow accounts were emptied. Players can no longer be ruled out of yellow cards this Champions League season.
Shortly after the game resumed, Pau Torres returned and immediately threw himself into the next duel.
Pau Torres is the player who takes the free kick to the chest. So the central defender is still on the field and needs treatment now.
After a short tussle with the defender, Francis Coquelin finally tucked the ball home. The fold itself steps from about 19 meters into action with the right foot, but sticks to the wall.
To the right of the field, Sadio Mané shields the ball. As the road to the goal is tight, the striker lays it down to his colleague Mo Salah, who immediately eases with his left foot. The ball flies over the crossbar.
Liverpool coach the fourth corner kick. That’s another Trent Alexander-Arnold thing. Nothing comes out of this standard situation.
There is no doubt that the hosts are variable. Now Jordan Henderson steals away on the right side of the field, sending Fabinho’s long diagonal ball with the inside right. Gerónimo Rulli closes the short corner and lets the ball go to the right far post and then out of goal.
In this phase there is a certain calm. This is entirely in the interest of the guests. And Liverpool seem happy that they have at least found their way to the goal. This can be built on later.
As against Bayern Munich, Villarreal are not upset at all. The men from Unai Emery almost stubbornly play their boots down and still believe that one day they will get their chance. Why should the Spaniards go away from their proven approach.
The next shot on goal does not wait. So Liverpool are now nearing an end – now through Andrew Robertson. His shot came in from the right hand side but Gerónimo Rulli managed to save it with an unbelievable reaction stop.
Luis Díaz shoots from half past the edge of the box. The right-legged shot is not particularly well placed. Gerónimo Rulli jumps, however, and throws himself first on the ball after the second grip.
Then the hosts bring in the pace for the first time. Sadio Mané sends Mo Salah on the right wing. He strikes a hook there and then crosses with his left foot. Meanwhile, Mané has reached the sixteenth and is free to head the ball there. But the timing is not right and therefore the attacker misses this great opportunity.
Now the visitors get deep into the opponent’s half of the field for the first time and are awarded a corner kick. Dani Parejo’s workmanship is of mediocre quality. And on another try and the pass from Pervis Estupiñán, Arnaut Danjuma is just offside.
Trent Alexander-Arnold steps into action on the right and finds Mo Salah’s skull with his cross. The Egyptian misses the target with his header.
Liverpool get the first corner kick of the meeting. Andrew Robertson kicks him in from the left. Ibrahima Konaté puts the ball on a plate for him and instead of hitting it with his right foot it cannoned of his left shin wide of the goal. Pau Torres cleans up Villarreal at the expense of another corner kick.
For the first time, there is something like a Spanish attempt to attack. Juan Foyth has just crossed the halfway line and then plays the poor pass.
The events take place constantly with half of the guests. Liverpool are patiently moving forward step by step. Jürgen Klopp’s men still can not find a hole.
Nothing happens in this rhythm. There is obviously the point: two matches, at least 180 minutes – that’s a lot of time. So why should we rush with anything? The Manchester City boys saw things differently yesterday.
As expected, the hosts take the initiative. The Reds are leading the ball, but take it easy for now. So there are still no significant scenes.
Everything is done. Anfield is filled to the last place. At twelve degrees prevail and loosely cloudy conditions, which the glorious lawn makes master.
The club history of Liverpool FC, which is aiming for its fifth final in the Champions League, is much more glorious. In 2005 and 2019, the Reds won the title and increased, including successes in the European Cup, their record to a total of six triumphs in Europe’s most important club competition. And that’s just the top of the track record.
Although Villarreal only won the first notable title in the club’s history last year, the Premier League winner in the Premier League has actually sniffed the air in the semi-finals. With their debut in the 2005/2006 season, Submarino reached the semi-finals of the Amarillo and narrowly lost to Arsenal. In the club’s fourth first class participation, they are again in the top four.
While it is already certain that Liverpool will play in the Champions League again next season, Villarreal are far from it. In La Liga, nine points from the corresponding table regions are currently missing. Still, it may be enough for international business. With cup winners Real Betis currently ahead of Unai Emery’s team, a 7th place finish would be enough for the Conference League. That is exactly the position Villarreal currently holds. A good form can not be denied the eastern Spaniards. They have been unbeaten in five competitive matches. Among them were three victories – one out in Getafe (2-1). The last defeat goes back to earlier in the month when UD Levante lost 2-0.
Liverpool can be described as extremely strong. Jürgen Klopp’s men have suffered only one defeat in this calendar year. It happened at home against Inter (0-1) in the round of 16 in early March. The Reds had previously won 2-0 on the road. So the only bankruptcy in the current competition had no consequences. At the national level, the team from the north-west of England is still whizzing from victory to victory. Liverpool still have three title chances in the coming weeks. The League Cup was secured at the end of February. The FA Cup final against Chelsea takes place in mid-May. And besides the Premier League, it’s also about the championship title in the Premier League. The leaders Manchester City are only one point ahead.
So now the second Anglo-Spanish meeting is on its way. In the duel between the second in the Premier League and the seventh in the Primera División, the role of the favorites is clearly divided. At this stage of the competition, however, there can no longer be an easy draw. In any case, the Reds should take FC Bayern Munich as a warning example. The German record champions believed in a solvable task against Villarreal and were sunk by a yellow submarine.
Compared to the last league match on Sunday, Jürgen Klopp made three changes. Instead of Joel Matip, Naby Keïta and Diogo Jota, who will sit on the bench, Liverpool will have Ibrahima Konaté, Jordan Henderson and Luis Díaz in their starting XI. There are also three changes on the part of the guests. Here, Aïssa Mandi, Manu Trigueros (both bench) and Yeremy Pino (not in the squad) are not in the starting lineup. Pau Torres, Francis Coquelin and Samuel Chukwueze play for this from the start. Gerard Moreno, on the other hand, did not start in time and is completely absent.
Welcome to the second semi-final of the Champions League! After the magnificent spectacle in Manchester yesterday, another club from the Premier League is required today. And Liverpool FC is also dealing with a Spanish club. Villarreal FC visit Anfield. Kick-off is scheduled for 9pm CEST.