Jurgen Klopp was seen having a good time on the touchlines during Liverpool’s Europa League semifinal 1st leg tie, however, he was left red faced when Adrian Lopez scored the match winning goal in extra time to give Villarreal a crucial 1-0 lead going in to the second leg.
Klopp came in to the game without his two key players Divock Origi and Mamdou Sakho missing from the starting XI. Daniel Sturridge was left on the bench and soon it got worse for Liverpool after Philippe Coutinho had to be taken off at half time as the Brazilian playmaker was not feeling well.
Amid all of that, we witnessed some pulsating football with both teams going at each other and create goal-scoring chances. Roberto Firmino was Liverpool’s in-form forward, but he was hardly given a decent chance to convert.
The game had a quick start to it which could have seen either team score with their first attempt on goal. Joe Allen could only strike his shot straight to the keeper which was the most glaring miss of the night.
Roberto Soldado had couple of bright moments in the first half where one of his shots almost managed to curl past Simon Mignolet, but it ended up side netting.
Firmino struck the bar in the second half after beautifully spotted by James Milner. The Brazilian took his shot early but Sergio Asenjo made a finger tip save to deny Liverpool the vital away goal.
Going forward, Villarreal’s Dennis Suarez was the danger man for Liverpool as he kept going past midfield and link up in attack. Suarez came close with a headed chance which was brilliantly saved by Mignolet.
Suarez’s best chance came in the 86th minute but Mignolet once again denied him the opportunity to score. From the following corner, Alberto Moreno had a glorious chance to finish after running almost 50-60 yards. Villarreal keeper Asenjo made himself big and forced Moreno to shoot wide.
That was the last chance for Liverpool to get their away goal. However, they must have thought they had done enough with clock ticking in to extra time, but the home team had one good attack left in them. Suarez once again found himself in space, but this time he unselfishly set up the substitute Lopez to score the only and perhaps the most vital goal of this tie.
Liverpool will now have to rely on their magical Anfield night next week and hope to overturn the first leg deficit like they did against Borussia Dortmund. However, this time they would want to avoid conceding early goal or else it will make things difficult for them.
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