Liverpool continue their European march under Jurgen Klopp after beating Villarreal with 3-1 aggregated scoreline to book their place in Europa League final on May 19. An early own goal followed by Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana’s strikes completed a 3-0 win on the night.
Following a pulsating European night at Anfield, we look at the key talking points and things learned from Liverpool’s Europa League semifinal win over Villarreal.
Sturridge has a Liverpool future after all
Jurgen Klopp has got us confused with the way he has handled Daniel Sturridge in recent weeks. First he benched him for last 2-3 crucial matches and then started the English striker in the most important match of Liverpool’s season.
Sturridge duly obliged by scoring and being energetic on the night. His bright display must have given Klopp enough encouragement to stick by Sturridge for at least next season and see how he develops on injury front.
Marcelino García’s tactical errors
Villarreal manager decided to start Alphonse Areola in goal ahead of the regular choice Sergio Asenjo, and it backfired badly. Areola was very shaky on the ball and always looked to be gifting away a goal to The Reds.
Another tactical error from Marcelino García was to not include Adrian Lopez in the starting XI after his match winning goal in the first leg. Instead he was left on the bench and Villarreal found it hard to break down Liverpool’s defense.
Liverpool to miss Anfield’s support for the final?
It is hardly a surprise to see Liverpool win their last 5 Europa League games at Anfield while be very shaky on the road. The Reds will take on Sevilla in this season’s Europa League final in Basel.
While it is a massive achievement for Klopp in his first season but he will not have the exhilarating support his team have enjoyed at Anfield this season.
Klopp must find a way to keep his team motivated to go on and win the cup despite playing at a neutral venue.
Has Klopp found his perfect system?
Last night we saw Liverpool play a 4-2-3-1 formation with James Milner and Emre Can sitting deep while the trio of Lallana-Coutinho-Firmino supporting Daniel Sturridge up top.
In all honesty, Klopp’s side played their best football this season with complete sync between his defense, midfield and attack.
If everything goes right in coming weeks, this should be Liverpool’s starting XI for the Europa League final vs Sevilla on May 19.
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