Liverpool were not lucky against Villarreal but the fans certainly are to support this brilliance

·11-min read
 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Villarreal deserve credit but Luis Diaz is brilliant and Liverpool do not know how to lose. Some fans realise it will not always be like this.

Send your thoughts to theeditor@football365.com.

Two conclusions
Don’t think Liverpool were lucky. These guys just don’t know how to lose.
Aidan, Lfc (love you Gina)

Good result, but would’ve preferred to birth less kittens.
Aidan, Lfc (phew again)

Break a leg
And in their infinite wisdom, UEFA wants to scrap 2-legged semi-finals. Idiots.
Mike, LFC, London

Stoke are in the mud
Is a wet Tuesday night in Villerreal a thing now?
Andrew Fairclough

Panic and patience
That first half was pretty sketchy from our perspective. It has been a long time since a team did to us what we usually do to others. We couldn’t find a second on the ball. Keita made some pretty stinky mistakes in the build up to both goals but the entire back 4 also made mistakes. I honestly don’t remember a game we looked that poor…possibly the Watford game we lost 3-0 just before covid shut down the league. I wonder if the players felt the game was won before a ball had been kicked and then got a shock. I worried they wouldn’t be able to get themselves started because it can be hard to dramatically shift momentum and tempo when you’ve got about 50 games in your legs from the season and it’s a hot evening in Spain.

I know some people will laugh at Rulli but I’ve seen enough of Mignolet and Karius to feel pretty sorry for the Villareal fans. That said I don’t feel too bad for Coquelin who spent the entire game running into people and then clutching his head like he’d been smashed.

Looking at that second half I was amazed that it wasn’t a double sub at half time. Keita, Mané, Jota and the entire back line had all looked poor so very few could’ve complained about being replaced. Credit to Klopp for not panicking though; too many changes could’ve sent the wrong message to the team and Diaz basically made all the difference. He allowed Mané to play central (and look actually good at football) and also stretched the game which allowed Thiago to find more space and time on that left side.

I also think Emery got his tactics wrong in the second half. I wondered if he knew the team couldn’t keep that first half energy for 90 minutes so wanted them to sit in a holding pattern for 30 minutes and then blitz the last 15 minutes of the game to try find a winner. He obviously didn’t bank on his keeper chucking a couple in the net though but who can ever budget for that.

All told the game looked close after the first half but once we found our groove I think we deserve our place in the final.
Minty, LFC

Who thinks the Manchester United Treble beats a Liverpool Quadruple?

Normalising brilliance
It’s hard to escape the idea that Liverpool were shite in the first half but Villareal were worse in the second. Not sure it says much else about either side.

Maybe that does a huge disservice to Villareal in the first half. Maybe it overstates Rulli’s series of unfortunate events. Maybe it downplays Diaz’s impact.

But what’s abundantly clear is that Liverpool have normalised brilliance to the extent that I was not especially worried at 2-0 down, nor particularly jubilant at 3-2. I celebrated each goal as if it were simply the passage of time; the natural progression of events.

That’s not to say it was without joy; far from it. I love each and every one of these players, unconditionally and with my whole heart; but watching them win here, the main feeling was pride. I’m so glad I follow a team to be proud of.

Whether they win another trophy, another game, or not – I will eulogise about this team. This is our team, and this is our time. What a time to be alive. What a team. Come, walk around them. Come and adore them. It won’t always be like this and I just hope everyone that follows the club realises how special this is and how fortunate we are as fans to bear witness to this. To have normalised excellence.

Imagine being us.
Nick Glover, Scouser in Brum

Delightful Diaz and more
Well that was briefly terrifying. We were really awful in the first half, but credit to Villarreal for making us so bad. They needed to absolutely go for it and they did.

Never assume and never take another team at this level lightly. 2-0 at half time and it could have been worse, it certainly looked like a penalty to me. It turned out that a team in the Champions League semis who’d knocked out Bayern and Juve were actually pretty good. Who knew?

Everything changed when Luis Diaz came on though. He is *brilliant* , as is our recruiting department, yet again. How we got him for that price is an utter mystery but he’s another wonderful signing for us. Klopp marshalled his resources perfectly, *again* and through we went.

Carabao Cup winners, FA Cup finalists, Champions League finalists and second in the league by a point. I fancy us against Chelsea, because they’ve helpfully gone a bit rubbish as the season has gone on. And I think we’ll take the Champions League. We’re better than Madrid by some distance and Pep’s going to Pep if he gets to the final. I don’t know how he’ll overthink things this time but he’ll manage. But the League is theirs, they don’t drop points from here.

1 trophy, 3 or 4 – it’s been a phenomenal, historic season. And this time last year we lost 86 home games in a row and we looked like we’d completely forgotten how to play football.

Funny old game really.
James, Liverpool ( got through the whole email without saying the word quad…..never mind)

Dear Ed

My word Emery is an astute manager..! I still believe that his time at Arsenal was severely handicapped by his grasping of the Queens. Him in charge of Madrid or Barca would be menacing.

Brilliant how we always get targeted down the right and then Emery decided to attack us down the left. Capoue was owning poor Robbo, who didn’t know who to defend against.

Then second half Luis Dias completely turned the game, introducing him forced their fullback backward, meaning we were much less susceptible to being attacked down the left.

Another example where our squad depth turned the game.

Another observation, training against Virg and his offside line has only improved our timing of runs by forwards immensely.

It’s funny because not too long ago I was harking back to when we had Gerrard, Alonso, Torres, Carragher, Mascherano… names that just flowed off the tongue.

Now we have a much, much better squad. We need to enjoy this vintage of LFC, they are a special bunch of players.

Best,
Wik, Pretoria, (one day we’ll hark back to the days of Virgil, Mane, Salah, Trent, and Bobbydazzler), LFC

And breathe…
The excitement masters LFC have done it again. Manufacturing excitement out of the most mundane routine progress. How tf does one turn a 2-0 first leg lead and routine progress, into a genuine jeopardy tie?

It’s still a mystery to me. I have no idea how the club i support does it (Bayer Leverkeusen 2002, Alaves 2004, Istanbul 2005, Dortmund 2016, Roma 2018, Barca 2019, Villareal 2022. Jeez).

Now i’ll go off and let my heart get back to its normal rhythm.
Gab YNWA, NSFH: Not safe for hear

I wonder how many emails were half-written last night at half time, as Klopp and his band of merry men successfully trolled the football world into believing that the wheels were about to come off in spectacular fashion to a team of plucky underdogs?

Kudos to Emery and Villareal (and their wonderful fans), but they were clearly spent by half time at the sheer effort of dominating a team like Liverpool.

What a ride, full of drama and outrageous fortune, this season continues to be. What a privilege to be a (tiny) part of it.
Mat (hungover but happy)

Sadio Mane celebrates his goal Credit: PA Images
Sadio Mane celebrates his goal Credit: PA Images

Not half
One bad half in a season where Liverpool will play in every game available, is ‘acceptable’, right?

Asking for a friend.
Pablo (never in doubt), London

Sod the Super League
Hats off to Villareal. Veeyareal actually, but never mind, I’m not getting paid huge readies to be a sports presenter/pundit who cannae’ be bothered to do any research. And it works both ways.

Doesn’t this type of stuff kick four shades of the proverbial sh*t out of a super league idea? Villarreal ought to be the pride of Spain, just as, in Italy and England respectively, Atalanta and Leicester should be too.

When Brighton were in the top 6, it was magical. Ajax’s run too, so crazily near the final on a relatively tiny budget!All refreshing. And refreshing is the key word here, certainly it is not a word you could foresee being bandied about any closed shop super league.

I don’t yet own a fish pond, but I do know that refreshing the oxygen is key to avoiding stagnation. The status quo is not perfect. UEFA really do need to become more transparent, amongst many, many other things. However, at half time, at least, there was that ‘football ! bloody hell !’ feeling everywhere again. A massive majority had envisaged a ‘Liverpool are in Paris already’ scenario. Yet Draculus Emery had them nailed and not one red player could make a good pass. An astonishingly brilliant first 45 minutes. Currently the Basque is a top six manager in European club football.

Malmo, Red Star, Monaco, Spurs, Bruges, Leeds, they were non super clubs yet playing in European cup finals ! , much to the chagrin of the hubristic, which is simply refrescante, and ALL football is better for it.

Some more examples, 76- 80, Arsenal managed to outdo United losing to Southampton by losing to both Ipswich and West Ham! Brilliant !!

Upsets & underdogs, small f**ks big , and we all laugh our tits off !

Therefore we really need to be aggressively anti super league and resist this latest americana preposterousness in our european game .
Peter (please, please City in the final ) Andalucia.

Neutral excitement
That game is exactly why this Liverpool side could go down in history. Rivalry aside it’s an outstanding achievement IF they were to successfully win the Quadruple. They would go down in history alongside many other multiple trophy winning sides.

Ideally I’d personally love a Liverpool vs Real Madrid final because to me when I think Champions League I think of Madrid and Liverpool. A win for Liverpool would take them joint second in the standings for most UCL titles, whilst Madrid could win 14 and all Chelsea fans love Carlo. We shall wait and see what happens. I for one as a neutral am quite excited.
The Admin @ At The Bridge Pod

Spursy
In 1999, ManYoo won an unprecedented treble. The only team that prevented them winning a quadruple was Tottenham, who knocked them out of whatever the League Cup was called then and went on to win it.

In 2019, Citeh won another treble. The only team that prevented them winning a quadruple was Tottenham, who knocked them out of the Champions League and … yeah, all right but that wasn’t a penalty.

In 2022, Liverpool are going for the quadruple. I wonder who they are playing in a must-win game in the League on Saturday.

Just sayin’
Andrew (Knowing us, we’ll probably win that and screw it up against Norwich) Warmington, THFC

Moore like it
On 30th December 2021 I stood in my row at Dean Court and wittily shouted to the Cardiff centre-forward who was getting treatment in front of me for the second time in 5 minutes “Oi Moore, some rugby team is missing it’s second-row”. 124 days later I stood in the same place and sang his name to the tune of ‘Kum Ba Yah’.

Funny old game.
Andy

The article Liverpool were not lucky against Villarreal but the fans certainly are to support this brilliance appeared first on Football365.com.

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