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Liverpool take control of Champions League semi-final after dominating win over Villarreal


Jurgen Klopp’s side were at their best to take full control of the game, striking twice in the second half to take a healthy advantage in the second leg in Spain next week.

Despite all their possession and chances, Liverpool needed a chance goal to break the deadlock – Jordan Henderson’s cross was deflected past keeper Geronimo Rulli in the 53rd minute.

But once ahead, Liverpool began to purr and had doubled their lead 133 seconds later and this time there was no luck.

Sadio Mane timed his run to perfection and pushed his effort under the goalkeeper after latching on to a pass from his partner in crime Mohamed Salah.

The pair were in fine form against a Villarreal side who looked full-time exhausted after a brutal evening at a noisy Anfield stadium.

Despite his side’s impressive performances, manager Jurgen Klopp was keen to play down the significance of the first leg result with 90 minutes remaining in the draw.

“We know we’re going there and it’s going to be a tricky atmosphere for us and different to tonight,” he said.

“Their players, you’ve seen it, they fight with everything they have and what I like is that everyone can see that we fought with everything we have.

“It’s always the same. If they beat us with a result that takes them to the final, then they deserve it and if not, we deserve it.”

“The best team I’ve ever seen in a red jersey”

But not everyone was as low-key as Klopp, with ex-players and pundits praising this Liverpool side, which is chasing an unprecedented quadruple this season of the Champions League title, from the FA Cup and the Premier League, to add to the League Cup it has already won. .

Former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand has put rivalries aside to say this is the best Liverpool team he has seen.

“They are relentless. We can talk about their individual quality, but it’s the way they press the teams, the energy, the effort, the application. You sit here and marvel,” he said. he declared, working as an expert on BTSport.

The club’s former striker Michael Owen agreed, saying: “It was just total, total domination by Jurgen Klopp’s men. As Rio said, they’re the best team I’ve ever seen. in a red shirt.”

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