Dhe outraged Jürgen Klopp repeatedly beat his heart and hugged his players with relief. The team leader and Liverpool FC continued to retain their chance for the historic quadruple. The nerve-wracking Reds advanced to the Champions League final on May 28 at the Stade de France with a 3-2 (0-2) victory over Bayern-Schreck FC Villarreal. Liverpool won the first match 2-0 on Wednesday last week.
“It all started the way you do not want it to be. We did not come into play. Then we started kicking and found the place,” Klopp said after the match on Prime Video: “I’m really happy.”
For Klopp, after the defeat in 2018 and the triumph in 2019, it is already the third first-class final with Liverpool. The final opponent will be decided on Wednesday (21.00 / in FAZ live ticker for the Champions League and on DAZN) between Real Madrid and Manchester City (first match: 4: 3 for City).
Liverpool FC still has more title chances in the league and in the cup. In the FA Cup final on May 14, Chelsea await with German coach Thomas Tuchel. In the Premier League, the Reds are just one point behind leading Manchester City from Pep Guardiola. Liverpool FC already won the League Cup in February.
Villarreal, who knocked Bayern Munich out of the competition in the quarter-finals, had taken a 2-0 lead through Boulaye Dia (3 ‘) and Francis Coquelin (41’) and had made up the deficit from the first match. With Fabinho (62 ‘), Luis Diaz (67’) and Sadio Mané (74 ‘), Liverpool managed to turn things around in a strong second half. In the final phase, Villarreal’s Etienne Capoue (86th) saw the yellow-red card. The Europa League winner can still look back with pride on the season in the Premier League. Before FC Bayern, the team eliminated the Italian record champions Juventus Turin in the round of 16.
Before the kick-off at the Estadio de la Ceramica in Villarreal, which was sold out with 23,500 spectators, Klopp had warned against arrogance. “We ignore the result of the first match. We know they will give everything they have,” said the 54-year-old. The former Dortmund champions saw themselves quickly confirmed. the early stages than throughout the first duel.The hosts quickly rewarded themselves for their brave performance with Dia, cheered coach Unai Emery profusely.
Liverpool seemed surprised and had a hard time pushing the outsider. The visitors’ dreaded speed and combination play, which had arrived with an impeccable record of five wins in five away games in this first-class season, did not pick up speed at all in the first half.
Klopp was visibly dissatisfied and struck wildly with his arms on the sideline. It did not help. Villarreal remained the more dangerous team. Reds goalkeeper Alisson Becker risked his life and limbs against the broken Giovani Lo Celso (37 ‘) – it would not have been a surprise if the referee had sentenced him at this point. Five minutes later, Becker was powerless against Coquelin’s header: the score was 2-0 – the lead from the first game was equalized.
Klopp responded and picked up Diaz for Diogo Jota after the switch – a good decision. Liverpool became more dominant, Villarreal withdrew more. A deflected long shot from Trent Alexander-Arnold hit the crossbar (55 ‘). The visitors increased the pressure and were rewarded with Fabinho’s goal. Goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli looked unsatisfied when the shot from close range in the near corner went through his legs. Diaz equalized a little later with a header – again from close range and again through Trulli’s legs. Mane then made everything clear with the third goal. Here, too, Rulli acted unhappily when he stormed out of the goal during a counterattack, but missed the ball.