Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor, Abuja
Liverpool in an impressive fightback came from two goals down to defeat Villarreal 3-2 at the Estadio de la Cerámica.
Villarreal took an early lead in three minutes through Boulaye Dia and dominated the entire pitch in what appeared a stunning performance.
The home team were dominant as they exerted pressure in their defence, cut out Liverpool’s attacks and pressured the visitors’ defence which provided the opportunity for the second goal through Francis Coquelin’s header.
Liverpool had a two-goal advantage from the first leg of the UEFA Champions League clash in Anfield but was overran by the Yellow Submarines in the first half.
However, the relentless Reds in the second half, in what could be referred to as one of the spectacular Champions League matches this season, cancelled Villarreal’s goals and added an extra to ensure Unai Emery’s men celebrations were short-lived.
Efforts from Fabinho, Luiz Diaz and Sadio Mane ensured that Liverpool won Villarreal 5-2 on aggregate; a result which has kept Jurgen Klopp’s campaign for a quadruple alive.
Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp in a post-match interview said, “It’s outstanding because we made it pretty tricky for ourselves.
“We knew before these kinds of things can happen. It’s all about in life how you react when things don’t go your way.
“Conceding a goal after three minutes is obviously not what you wanted. Momentum was on their side, respect to Villarreal – unbelievable what they’ve set up. They put us under pressure over the whole pitch.
“We didn’t play football at all. I told the boys: ‘Yes they have momentum, but they don’t own it. With one situation we can get it back.’
“We have to force ourselves on them. All of a sudden we were in the game, scored goals and made it happen,” he added.
The Reds, having pulled out the clog in its wheel en route to UEFA Champions League final in Stade de France, Paris, look ahead to face who wins between Manchester City and Real Madrid on aggregate at the Santiago Bernebeu.
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