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Liverpool beat Villarreal to reach Champions League final

Liverpool beat Villarreal to reach Champions League final
May 03
22:09 2022

Liverpool scored three second-half goals to overturn a two-goal first-half deficit and advance into the final of the UEFA Champions League (UCL) following a 3-2 win over ten-men Villarreal at the Cerámica Stadium in Spain on Tuesday night.

The 2019 UCL winners scored three goals in 12 second-half minutes through Fabinho, Luiz Diaz, and Sadio Mane to record a 5-2 aggregate victory over Villarreal.

Boulaye Dia and Francesco Coquelin had scored first-half goals to erase Liverpool’s two-goal first-leg lead before the visitors mounted a comeback.

The Reds advanced into their third UCL final in five seasons and 10th overall in the club’s history.

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Villarreal caught a tepid and bemused Liverpool by surprise in the early minutes, with attacks down the flanks yielding the first goal for the hosts in the 3rd minute.

The Yellow Submarines, who dumped both Juventus and Bayern Munich out of the UCL in earlier rounds, conjured the second goal before halftime, with Coquelin rising above Trent Alexander-Arnold to nod into the top corner with Alisson Becker rooted to the spot as Villarreal went into the halftime break with a 2-0 lead.

The introduction of Luiz Diaz at the start of the second half woke Jurgen Klopp’s sleeping team, with the Reds responding with two goals in five minutes after the hour mark as the hosts retreated into defence mode.

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Fabinho struck first before Luiz Diaz nodded through the helpless goalkeeper’s legs again in the 67th minute from Alexander-Arnold’s cross.

Mane then scored the match-winner in 72 minutes, as the Senegalese nicked the ball ahead of on-rushing Rulli before coolly slotting into an empty net to win the game.

Liverpool, six-time UCL winners, will face either Manchester City or Real Madrid in the final set for Paris on May 28.

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