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2 - 0
P. Estupiñán (53 og)
S. Mané (55)
Liverpool v Villarreal Live Commentary,
Brought to you by
G. Lo Celso
2 - 0
1 - 0
V. van Dijk
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target
Thanks for joining our commentary this evening. Until next time, goodbye.
Liverpool are next in action in the Premier League on Saturday on the road to Newcastle United. Villarreal are in action on the same day away to Alaves in LaLiga.
Liverpool secure a 2-0 victory over Villarreal in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final clash at Anfield. The two sides played out a goalless first half before the deadlock was broken when Jordan Henderson's cross was deflected past Geronimo Rulli by Pervis Estupinan. Sadio Mane then doubled the Reds' lead with a close-range finish following great work from Mohamed Salah. Jurgen Klopp's men will take a two-goal advantage to El Madrigal, where they will be in a strong position to advance to the final of the competition. The Yellow Submarine have it all to do next week.
90' + 3'
FULL-TIME: LIVERPOOL 2-0 VILLARREAL
90' + 3'
Liverpool clear their lines from the delivery from Lo Celso before the full-time whistle blows.
90' + 2'
Fabinho catches Aurier late, handing Villarreal one last chance to threaten from a free-kick.
There will be two minutes of added time.
Dia latches on to a ball over the top and takes on a strike from the inside-right channel. However, his effort is tame and straight at Alisson, but he was offside anyway.
Danjuma is replaced Alcacer for the closing stages of the game in the final third.
Origi works the ball into the path of Jota in the inside-left channel, but he cannot take the ball in stride amid pressure from Albiol.
Diaz has put forward another tireless effort and is replaced by Origi in the final third.
Alexander-Arnold looks a tad disappointed as he is withdrawn for Gomez for the final nine minutes.
Fabinho latches on to a knockdown from an Alexander-Arnold free-kick, but he sees his effort repelled by a wall of yellow shirts.
WIDE! Jota sends Diaz on the charge into the inside-left channel, but he fires his effort across the face of goal rather than towards the far corner and misses the target.
Foyth makes an important challenge to stop Keita in his tracks on the edge of the box after he is teed up by Salah.
Liverpool would relish a third goal that would effectively kill off the tie. The Spanish side will already have their work cut out to level the scores on home soil next week if it remains 2-0.
Jota enters the action for the home side to replace Mane. His second goal could well be decisive in the tie.
Henderson was the spark for the first goal with his run and cross. Keita replaces the Liverpool skipper.
Chukwueze makes way for the visitors after a quiet evening. Dia replaces him in the final third.
Estupinan is withdrawn after a difficult second half, receiving a yellow card and scoring an own goal. Trigueros replaces him to add an extra midfielder on the pitch.
Aurier replaces Parejo for the visitors to offer defensive cover on the right flank.
Rulli gets caught off his line by Diaz, who takes the ball away from the keeper. However, his cutback is met by Albiol before Fabinho, who clears the danger.
Estupinan gets back to make an important tackle to prevent Salah from firing at goal from the inside-right channel after the forward had got behind the Villarreal defence.
CHANCE! Diaz looks to capitalise as he fakes an offload to Fabinho before seeing his curling strike deflected wide of the right post.
SAVE! Space opens up for Van Dijk to go for a blast from distance and his effort rockets towards the net. Rulli makes an unconvincing stop, but he manages to keep it out before the visitors scramble away the ball.
Mane and Salah have now combined for seven goals in the Champions League, the joint-most of any duo playing for an English side alongside Roberto Firmino & Mohamed Salah and Ryan Giggs & Wayne Rooney (also seven).
DISALLOWED GOAL! Robertson dispatches Alexander-Arnold's cross past Rulli with a brilliant one-touch finish, but the flag is up for offside and the Scot knows that he was beyond the last man.
Robertson's cross from the resulting free-kick travels away from his team-mates in the middle before the visitors clear the danger.
G. Lo Celso
Lo Celso brings down Robertson on the charge and goes into the book. Liverpool have a free-kick in a useful position.
Danjuma latches on to a cutback from Capoue from the left flank, but he loses out to Konate in the Liverpool box.
Mane has tonight netted his 14th Champions League knockout stage goal, equalling Didier Drobga’s record as the African with the most such goals in the competition’s history.
Salah runs at Torres in the Villarreal box and goes down under pressure from the defender. However, the referee dismisses his claim for a penalty.
Only Frank Lampard (15/23) has scored a higher share of their Champions League goals in the knockout stages than Mane (14/23) - out of a minimum of 20 goals.
Substitution Francis Coquelin Alfonso Pedraza Sag
Salah pushes the Villarreal defence back before sending a perfectly-weighted pass for Mane to collect and score.
GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!! MANE POKES HOME A SECOND FOR LIVERPOOL!!!!!!! 2-0!!!!!!!!! The Reds get a quick-fire double as Mane collects Salah's throughball before beating Rulli with a low strike. Salah weaves his way into the Villarreal box before sliding an offload through for the run of his team-mate. Mane gets there ahead of Rulli and finds the bottom-right corner with his strike.
GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!! ESTUPINAN SCORES AN OWN GOAL!!!!!! 1-0 LIVERPOOL!!!! The Reds take the lead as Henderson's cross deflects off Estupinan and beats Rulli at his near post. Henderson is played into space by Salah down the right wing and looks to send a delivery into the middle. Estupinan sticks out a boot and inadvertently deflects it into the net as Rulli gets a hand to it, but cannot keep it out.
SAVE! Alexander-Arnold floats a ball over the top for Diaz to nod at goal, but he sends his effort into the ground and straight at Rulli.
DISALLOWED GOAL! Fabinho puts the ball in the back of the net, but Liverpool's celebrations are short lived as Van Dijk was offside in the build-up as he teed up his team-mate to convert from close range.
Alexander-Arnold clips the resulting free-kick into the box, but the visitors are able to clear their lines.
Estupinan pulls back Salah off the ball and goes into the book. That was as cynical as it gets.
Salah clips a cross into the box from the right flank that skims the head of Torres before Rulli makes the claim.
We're back under way at Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp will be satisfied with his side's performance, but they need to refine their clinical edge in front of goal. Mohamed Salah, Mane and Luis Diaz have been active in the final third, but have not been firing on all cylinders. It may only take one moment for the floodgates to open in the second half.
It is goalless at the break in the Champions League first leg semi-final clash between Liverpool and Villarreal. The Reds have dominated possession, but have not managed to find a breakthrough. Thiago came the closest to scoring for the hosts, but he clattered the post with his strike from 20 yards. Sadio Mane also had an effort that was deflected inches wide of the left post. Villarreal's resilience is on display once more.
45' + 1'
HALF-TIME: LIVERPOOL 0-0 VILLARREAL
There will be one minute of added time.
OFFSIDE! Fabinho releases Salah in the inside-right channel before the forward sees his effort smothered by Rulli. It did not matter anyway as the Egyptian was offside in the build-up.
There have been 13 shots so far in this match between Liverpool (12) and Villareal (1), which ties the highest number for a first half of a Champions League semi final without a goal scored.
OFF THE POST! Thiago sees a great effort from distance clatter off the left post. The Spaniard takes a step forward from the midfield and is afforded space and time to fire at goal. He connects well with his strike, only to be denied by the woodwork.
Rulli makes a gamble at the back as he comes well off his line to punch clear a cross from Konate. The Villarreal keeper has a strategy and he's sticking to it tonight.
Parejo tries to release Lo Celso in behind the Liverpool defence, but he can only send his effort on the stretch behind for a goal-kick.
CHANCE! Salah blazes over from close range. Alexander-Arnold sends a brilliant first-time cross in from the right flank that Salah meets on the volley on his right foot, but he sends his effort over the top.
BLOCK! Villarreal are putting their bodies on the line at the back. Lo Celso becomes the latest player to divert a goalbound effort from Salah over the bar.
INCHES WIDE! Mane latches on to a lay-off from Thiago and turns to fire at goal on the half-volley. However, Albiol sticks out a leg and does just enough to deflect it wide of the left post.
V. van Dijk
Van Dijk takes out Chukwueze before he can break on a counter and goes into the book.
SAVE! Diaz cuts in with menace from the left flank and powers a strike towards goal. Rulli parries the drive, but pushes it out into the box. The visitors are able to scramble it away from danger.
Torres is back on his feet and has to be alert to clear a cross from Salah away from Mane in the box.
Torres takes a low direct to the face from Alexander-Arnold's free-kick and requires treatment before the game can resume.
BLOCK! Alexander-Arnold lines up the resulting free-kick, but he hammers his effort straight into the wall.
Coquelin drags back Alexander-Arnold on the edge of the Villarreal box, and hands Liverpool a free-kick in a dangerous position.
OVER! Salah and Mane combine with a one-two that allows the former to fire at goal. He has to blast his effort through a crowd, and just gets too much elevation on his effort as it sails over the bar.
Alexander-Arnold finds space down the right flank and he angles a cross towards the near post, but Coquelin is back to divert it behind.
OFF THE POST! Henderson steers a first-time cross towards the near post following a fine ball from Thiago. The Reds skipper sees his delivery clatter off the outside of the right post and behind after Rulli opts to leave it. It was closer than he thought.
Liverpool have not been able to impose themselves on the game. Villarreal are deploying their defensive tactics to great effect once more.
Capoue spots Danjuma in space and finds the forward. He looks up for support and tries to thread through Chukwueze, but Robertson gets back to make an important interception.
CHANCE! Thiago latches on to a cleared corner from the left flank and launches an effort on the volley into the ground. It bounces awkwardly, but Rulli goes for the punch rather than a claim and almost allows the Reds to capitalise, but Van Dijk is caught offside.
SAVE! Diaz cuts in from the left flank and finds space to fire at goal on his right foot, but his curling effort is parried by Rulli before he gathers at the second attempt ahead of Mane.
CHANCE! Salah raids down the right flank and clips a perfect cross into the box for the run of Mane. The forward has to stretch behind him to attack the delivery, and can only guide his header wide of the right post.
Villarreal have their first press down the left flank and win a corner as Chukwueze's cross is diverted behind by Fabinho.
OVER! Salah rises to attack Alexander-Arnold's first cross into the box, but he can only glance his header over the bar.
Konate rises highest in the box to attack Robertson's corner and he nods the ball down. It almost for Mane, but his first touch is a tad heavy and Torres reacts to clear behind.
Mane tries to turn past Lo Celso, but the defender holds firm to divert the ball behind for a corner.
Fabinho tries to release Robertson in behind the Villarreal defence down the left flank, but the Scot can only nod the ball out of play.
Thiago arcs a sublime long ball over the top for Salah in the inside-right channel, but the forward takes a loose first touch and it travels behind for a goal-kick.
We're under way at Anfield.
Liverpool and Villarreal have met just twice before in European competition, with both sides winning their home leg of the 2015-16 Europa League semi-finals, when Liverpool would go on to progress to the final against Unai Emery’s Sevilla.
Villarreal have also made three changes to their side from their win over Valencia in their last outing. Torres is restored to the backline for Mandi, who drops to the bench. Chukwueze replaces the injured Yeremi Pino on the right flank, while Coquelin slots into the left flank in place of Trigueros. Gerard Moreno is still missing due to injury, leaving Lo Celso to partner Danjuma in the final third.
Liverpool have made three changes to their side from their win over Everton last time out. Konate starts alongside Van Dijk in the back four as Matip drops to the bench. Henderson slots back into the midfield ahead of Keita, while Diaz gets the nod for Jota in the final, with both ousted players starting from the sideline.
VILLARREAL SUBS: Sergio Asenjo, Mario Gaspar, Paco Alcacer, Vicente Iborra, Manu Trigueros, Boulaye Dia, Ruben Pena, Aissa Mandi, Moi Gomez, Alfonso Pedraza, Serge Aurier, Filip Jorgensen.
VILLARREAL (4-4-2): Geronimo Rulli; Juan Foyth, Raul Albiol, Pau Torres, Pervis Estupinan; Samuel Chukwueze, Dani Parejo, Etienne Capoue, Francis Coquelin; Giovani Lo Celso, Arnaut Danjuma.
LIVERPOOL SUBS: James Milner, Naby Keita, Joe Gomez, Adrian, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Takumi Minamino, Diogo Jota, Divock Origi, Joel Matip, Rhys Williams, Caoimhin Kelleher, Harvey Elliott.
LIVERPOOL (4-3-3): Alisson; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ibrahima Konate, Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Robertson; Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Luis Diaz.
Villarreal produced the performance of the Champions League this season to knock out Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals. Unai Emery's men secured a 1-0 win in the first leg to have a lead to hold to for the trip to Bavaria. The Spanish outfit were disciplined at the back, and even though Robert Lewandowski levelled the tie, Samuel Chukwueze came to the fore in the dying stages to score the decisive goal in the tie. They've beaten Getafe on the road and Valencia since, so will be full of confidence this evening.
Liverpool produced a stellar effort in the last round of the Champions League to defeat Benfica. A strong performance in the first leg set up the Reds in the tie before playing out an entertaining 3-3 draw at Anfield in the second leg to seal their place in the semis. Jurgen Klopp's men have been in outstanding form since, knocking Manchester City out of the FA Cup along with fine displays to hammer Manchester United and beat Everton in the Merseyside derby. Liverpool will be eyeing another clinical outing tonight.
Good evening and welcome to the live commentary of the Champions League semi-final first leg clash between Liverpool and Villarreal at Anfield.