Liverpool beat Villarreal 2-0 in the first leg of the 2021-2022 Champions League semifinal.
The Liverpool vs Villarreal match was held at Anfield on Thursday (28/4/2022).
Liverpool won thanks to two goals in two minutes scored in the second half.
The Reds’ goals came through Pervis Estupinan’s own goal (53′) and the other through Sadio Mane ‘s action (55’).
This victory makes the Reds put one foot in the Champions League final 2021-2022.
Before confirming themselves to the final, Juergen Klopp’s troops must pass the second leg match against Villarreal on Wednesday (4/5/2022).
A draw or defeat by a one-goal margin is a minimum requirement for Liverpool to reach the Champions League final.
The game Liverpool vs Villarreal
Liverpool immediately stepped on the gas and took the initiative from the start of the first half. They build attacks with short passes to break down Villarreal’s tight defense.
The game went on for 10 minutes, the Reds had two moments that were quite dangerous for the Villarreal defense .
However, the attack launched by Mohamed Salah et al could still be stopped by the visitors and only resulted in a corner kick.
Liverpool also failed to maximize the corner kick they got.
In the 11th minute, Liverpool created a golden opportunity. Mo Salah received a cross from the middle, then accelerated in the right area.
Mo Salah pulled Villarreal’s players first before sending a cross. The Egyptian winger’s cross was headed home by Sadio Mane who was free in the penalty area, but his effort was just sideways. Four minutes later, Liverpool were able to make the first kick on target.
Utilizing a wild ball in the corner kick scheme, Thiago Alcantara volleyed off from outside the penalty box.
However, goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli can carefully punch the round skin. Meanwhile, the Yellow Submarine team is still having trouble developing the game.
The visitors actually had several opportunities on the counter-attack. However, their efforts were always interrupted. In the 34th minute, Villarreal ‘s goal was again threatened.
Luis Diaz’s action on the left side which ended with a kick from outside the penalty box managed to meet the target. Luckily for Villarreal, Rulli was able to block the ball again. Liverpool almost scored when the game was 42 minutes old. Thiago hit a long-range shot and drove hard to the left. However, the Spanish midfielder’s hard kick only kissed the crossbar. Until the end of the first half no goals were created. Liverpool and Villarreal drew 0-0.
Liverpool were able to vibrate the Villarreal goal at the start of the second half, right in the 49th minute. It was Fabinho who netted in a corner. However, his goal was disallowed because Virgil van Dijk, the assist provider , was in an offside position .
The moment seemed to be a disaster for Villarreal . In the 53rd minute, Liverpool really scored. The goal process begins with Liverpool’s quick attack scheme via short passes. Jordan Henderson then received a key pass in the right area and crossed into the penalty box.
However, the pass hit left-back Pervis Estupinan so the ball turned towards the goalkeeper. Rulli was unable to reach the ball and Villarreal conceded an own goal. The Yellow Submarine Team was caught off guard again after conceding. Two minutes after the first goal, the Reds doubled their lead. Mo Salah sent a short pass that crossed Pau Torres in the penalty box. The bait went to Sadio Mane who quickly completed the opportunity with a low shot to the right.
Rulli failed to save the ball so Villarreal trailed 0-2 from Liverpool. In the 64th minute, Andrew Robertson also made Rulli pick the ball from his own net.
Robertson put the ball in after utilizing a cross from Trent-Alexander Arnold’s stomach. However, the former Hull City player’s goal was disallowed for being caught offside. Villarreal continues to be pressed by Liverpool . In this second half, the visitors who still could not develop the game failed to make a single shot. When the game entered the final 10 minutes, the Reds began to reduce the intensity of their attacks.
In the end, the score was 2-0 unchanged and Liverpool managed to secure victory in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal .
LIVERPOOL vs VILLARREAL 0-2 (Estupinan 53′, Mane 55′)
LIVERPOOL (4-3-3): 1-Alisson; 66-Alexander-Arnold (12-Gomez 81′), 5-Konate, 4-Van Dijk, 26-Robertson; 14-Henderson (8-Keita 72′), 3-Fabinho, 6-Thiago; 11-Salah, 10-Mane (20-Jota 73′), 23-Diaz (27-Origi 81′)
Coach: Jurgen Klopp (JER)
VILLARREAL (4-4-2): 13-Rulli; 8-Foyth, 3-Albiol, 4-Torres, 12-Estupinan (14-Trigueros 72′); 17-Lo Celso, 5-Parejo (25-Aurier 72′), 6-Capoue, 19-Coquelin (24-Pedraza 57′); 15-Danjuma (9-Alcacer 86′), 11-Chukwueze (16-Day 72’)
Coach: Unai Emery (SPA)