Liverpool was the first side to qualify for the Champions League final after coming back from a 3-0 deficit to defeat Villarreal 3-2 away from home.
With goals from Fabinho, Luis Diaz, and Sadio Mane on the night, the Reds advanced to the Paris final 5-2 on aggregate. After Boulaye Dia and Francis Coquelin had first wiped out Liverpool’s first-leg advantage, the three goals ended the home side’s chances of a first Champions League final.
The visitors’ half-time comeback was possibly the clearest example of the famous “game of two halves,” as they turned the game on its head. Villarreal finished the game with ten men when Etienne Capoue was sent off for receiving a second yellow card with less than a minute remaining.
It put a harsh end to the Spanish club’s remarkable run to the semi-final, which appeared to have gone all the way to the final at one point. However, Unai Emery and his men were defeated by the superior team in their quest for an unprecedented quadruple.
Watch the highlights:
Jurgen Klopp’s team will now face either Manchester City or Real Madrid in the final on May 28 at the Parc des Princes in Paris. Liverpool was behind with a 2-0 win from Villarreal at halftime, but after a team meeting with Jurgen Klopp, Sadio Mane rounded the keeper to make it 3-2 on the night and send Liverpool to the Champions League final.
Villarreal had wiped out Liverpool’s lead from the first leg. The Spaniards led 2-0 at halftime and could have easily extended their lead. Jurgen Klopp got the opportunity to address his team and give them the words they required, which had an immediate impact in the second half.
Fabinho’s goal brought Liverpool back into the game on the night and re-established their advantage in the tie. The Reds then drew level through super-sub Luis Diaz, who deservedly headed home to restore the away side’s two-goal advantage. Sadio Mane put the icing on the cake with a breakaway that saw him get around Geronimo Pulli, who had rushed out of goal, to slot the ball into an open net and send Liverpool to the Champions League final in Paris.