Later tonight, April 27, 2022, Villarreal will attempt to continue their stunning run in the UEFA Champions League 2021-2022 campaign at the famous Anfield Stadium. The first leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final game will kick off at 20:00.
So far in the campaign, Villarreal have proven to be the most incredible team based on the European football giants they have had to eliminate before they got to the semi-final stage of the competition.
Recall that Villarreal who have never played in the final of the UEFA Champions League in the history of the club, met Juventus in the round of 16 stage of the competition this season. Ahead of the 2-legged tie, bookmakers predicted that Juventus would knock out the Spanish club.
To the dismay of those who doubted Villarreal, the Spanish side knocked out Juventus 1-4 on aggregate to book a date with another European giants Bayern Munich in the quarter-final stage of the competition.
To the dismay of those who doubted that the Spanish side would triumph again, coach Unai Emery and his boys stunned the world of football by knocking out Bayern Munich 1-2 on aggregate.
Unfortunately for them again, they will have to fight for the final by knocking out Liverpool and the journey starts at Anfield stadium tonight.
Ahead of the first leg tie, Etienne Capoue, a veteran of the game who spent eight years of his career in the Premier League before he left for Spain, said playing against Liverpool at the Anfield Stadium is like hell.
Note that Etienne Capoue has played at the Anfield stadium a couple of times when he was contracted to Tottenham Hotspur between 2013 and 2015. He was also a player of Watford between 2015 and January 4, 2021, before he joined Villarreal for just €2 million.
The 33-year-old French defensive midfielder said whenever Liverpool players are playing at the 53,000-seater Anfield stadium, the atmosphere is always different.
“Anfield is hell, you have to say it how it is. It’s hell,” Etienne Capoue told Yahoo Sport. “It’s the worst stadium I’ve been to in England. Whether it’s the atmosphere, the way they play… For 90 minutes, you live in hell. They have this ability to transcend themselves, to cause you nothing but problems, all the time, in any part of the field.
“They never stop, they rush you all the time, they only want to score goals, and even when they score, they carry on. They want to knock you out. They don’t care what or who is in front of them. They just want to kill everyone and that’s it.”
Anfield stadium is not always hell to visiting teams like Etienne Capoue claimed
Liverpool have enjoyed great success at the Anfield stadium in the history of the club, especially in the era of coach Jurgen Klopp. Some of the European giants that have suffered defeats at the Anfield stadium include the Paris Saint Germain, Manchester City, and FC Barcelona.
On the other hand, some European clubs have visited the Anfield stadium and ran away with at least a point. Recall that Benfica ran away from the Anfield stadium on April 13, 2022, with a 3-3 draw in the quarter-final stage of the Champions League but Liverpool knocked them out of the competition 6-4 on aggregate.
Before then, Italian Serie A giants, Inter Milan, visited the Anfield stadium in the round of 16 stage of this season’s UEFA Champions League campaign and ran away with a 1-0 victory on March 8, 2022, but Liverpool knocked them out of the competition 2-1 on aggregate.
Hence, Villarreal which defeated Juventus 3-0 in Turin on March 16, 2022, and also drew 1-1 with Bayern Munich in Germany on April 12, 2022, could get at least a point from Liverpool at Anfield Stadium tonight.
Though the atmosphere at the Anfield stadium is always intimidating as Etienne Capoue has confirmed, the players on the pitch will make the difference more than the home or away spectators.
Etienne Capoue whose contract with Villarreal will expire on June 30, 2023, has played 37 games in all competitions this season in which he scored three goals and provided three assists. The 33-year-old French defensive midfielder has scored two goals and provided two assists in 10 UEFA Champions League games so far this season.
Les 1 minutes d’applaudissements plus le never walk alone chantais par les supporters de liverpool dans Anfield Stadium pour le bebe de Cristiano Ronaldo c’est magnifique pic.twitter.com/4eRBHH1qwZ— Zlatan (@lahacheduhood) April 19, 2022