D.Jürgen Klopp cheered, slapped his heart repeatedly and hugged his players with relief. The team manager and Liverpool FC continued to keep their chance for the historic quadruple. The nerve-wracking Reds progressed to the Champions League final on 28 May at the Stade de France by winning 3-2 (0-2) at Bayern-Schreck FC Villarreal. Liverpool won the first leg 2-0 on Wednesday last week.
“It all started the way you don’t want it to be. We didn’t enter the game. Then we started kicking and we found the space,” 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 premier class final with Liverpool. The last opponent will be determined on Wednesday (21: 00 / in the FAZ live ticker for the Champions League and on DAZN) between Real Madrid and Manchester City (first leg: 4: 3 for City).
Liverpool FC still have other league and cup title chances. In the FA Cup final on 14 May, Chelsea await with German manager Thomas Tuchel. In the Premier League, the Reds are just one point behind leaders Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. Liverpool FC have already won the League Cup in February.
Villarreal, who knocked out FC Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals, had taken the lead 2-0 thanks to Boulaye Dia (3 ‘) and Francis Coquelin (41’) and had recovered the gap from the first game. Liverpool managed to turn things around in an excellent second half with Fabinho (62 ‘), Luis Diaz (67’) and Sadio Mané (74 ‘). In the final stage, Villarreal’s Etienne Capoue (86th) saw the yellow and red card. The Europa League winner can still look forward to the season in the premier class with pride. Before FC Bayern, the team eliminated the Italian champions Juventus Turin in the round of 16.
Before kick-off at the Estadio de la Ceramica in Villarreal, sold out with 23,500 spectators, Klopp had warned against arrogance. “We ignore the result of the first leg. We know they will give everything they have, “said the 54-year-old. The former Dortmund master builder was immediately confirmed. The” Yellow Submarine “appeared more often in the Liverpool penalty area in the early stages than in the full first duel. The hosts immediately rewarded themselves for their courageous performance with Dia, coach Unai Emery cheered exuberantly.
Liverpool looked surprised and had a hard time pressing the outsider. The guests’ dreaded game of speed and combination, who came with an impeccable record of five wins in five away games this season in the premier class, did not gain momentum in the first half.
Klopp was visibly unhappy and was waving his arms wildly on the sidelines. He didn’t help. Villarreal remained the most dangerous side. Reds goalkeeper Alisson Becker risked his life against the Giovani Lo Celso infraction (37 ‘) – it would not have been a surprise if the referee had awarded a penalty at this point. Five minutes later, Becker is helpless against Coquelin’s header: the score is 2-0, the first leg lead is equalized.
Klopp reacted and brought Diaz for Diogo Jota after the change – a good decision. Liverpool have become more dominant, Villarreal have withdrawn more. A deflected long-range shot by Trent Alexander-Arnold hits the crossbar (55 ‘). The guests increased the pressure and were rewarded with Fabinho’s goal. Goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli looked unhappy as the close-range shot in the near corner pierced his legs. Diaz equalized shortly after with a header, again from close range and again through Trulli’s legs. Mane then clarified everything with the third goal. Here too Rulli acted unhappily, on the counterattack he ran out of the door, but missed the ball.