Liverpool boss Klopp urges players to respect Villareal in Champions League semi

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp called on his squad not to underestimate giantkillers Villareal during the first leg of their Champions League semi-final at Anfield on Wednesday night.

Unai Emery's side disposed of Juventus and Bayern Munich to reach the last four and go into the clash at Liverpool as underdogs.

But Klopp - who led Liverpool to Champions League glory in 2019 - said he would not take the visitors lightly.

"Maybe Juve or maybe Bayern underestimated them," said Klopp whose side are in a tussle with Manchester City for the English Premier League title.

"But that will never happen to us and especially after those four games against Juventus and Bayern there's no chance of that anymore.

"So, this little advantage they had might have gone but they're still a really, really good football team who obviously want to make history as well."

History

If Villareal were to add Liverpool to their list of victims, they will reach the final of European club football's most prestigious tournament for the first time.

"When you watch his team, Unai looks like a detail-obsessed manager who prepares for all the different situations in a game," said Klopp

"And that's what his team is executing. It's really good. different ways to build up, different ways to press, different ways to react. Really, really impressive and obviously, Unai is a world-class coach and is doing an incredible job there."

On Tuesday night, Manchester City beat Real Madrid 4-3.

France international Karim Benzema bagged a brace as Madrid fought back on three occasions from a two-goal deficit.

"Benzema played an extraordinary game," said Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti. "But he does it all the time. Even though we lost, we are still in the tie and at home next week I think we are more than capable of causing them problems."

See-saw

City racked up a two goal lead within 11 minutes with goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus. Benzema halved the deficit after 33 minutes.

Just after the pause, Phil Foden added City's third but within minutes Vinicius Junior struck back for Madrid.

Bernardo Silver sent the hosts two goal clear again in the 74th minute.

Benzema though had the last word via the penalty spot. His panenka - a chipped shot to the centre of the goal - brought City within range.

"He's got the technique and character to pull off a strike like that," added Ancelotti of Benzema's penalty. "It was spectacular to try something like that at that moment of the game.

The second leg will take place at the Santiago Bernabeu on 4 May as Madrid continue their hunt for a record-extending 14th trophy.

City, who lost last year's final to Chelsea, are seeking their first triumph in the competition.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting