Connect with us

UCL

Champions League: Mane On Target As Liverpool Beat Villarreal

Published

on

champions-league-mane-on-target-as-liverpool-beat-villarreal

 

An own goal and a Sadio Mane strike earned Liverpool a 2-0 victory in their Champions League semi-final first-leg against Villarreal on Wednesday, putting Jurgen Klopp’s side on course for their third European Cup final in five seasons.

After the drama of Tuesday’s other semi-final, which saw Manchester City beat Real Madrid 4-3 at the Etihad, it was never going to be easy for this game to compete in the entertainment stakes.

But Liverpool did enough to build themselves a solid lead for Tuesday’s return game in Spain where they will be confident of finishing off the job.

READ MORE: Champions League: Man City Pip Real Madrid In Thriller

Villarreal defended in numbers in the first half to frustrate the six-time European Cup winners, with Thiago Alcantara going closest to breaking the deadlock with a thunderous strike from a distance that hit the post.

There were several half-chances for Liverpool with Jordan Henderson drilling into the side netting and Mohamed Salah floating an effort wide, while Mane saw a deflected effort zip just past the post.

But for the most part Unai Emery’s defence coped well, with Pau Torres in command at the back and the central midfield pairing of Dani Parejo and Etienne Capoue protecting the area in front of them.

Liverpool turned it up a notch after the break and moments after Brazilian midfielder Fabinho had seen one effort ruled out for offside, Henderson’s cross was deflected into his own net by Pervis Estupinan to break Villarreal’s resistance.

READ MORE: Braham Football Trials Unveil Plans For Nigerian Footballers

Able to express themselves with the deadlock broken, Mohamed Salah threaded a sublime pass through for Mane to put the game beyond the visitors 133 seconds later.

Liverpool’s pressing was too much for the Spaniards at times and they had chances to make the result more comprehensive.

Andy Robertson had a fine effort ruled out for offside after connecting with a sweeping cross from Trent Alexander-Arnold, while Virgil van Dijk tried his luck with a long-range thunderbolt that nearly knocked Villarreal keeper Geronimo Rulli off his feet.

Anfield showed its appreciation at the final whistle but in truth, this was a game that felt more like a group-stage match than a last-four encounter.

“They are a very organised team and we knew they would make it difficult. It was just important that we kept going and believed that we would eventually break them down. We did that with two good goals,” said Henderson.

“Majority of the game, our counter-press was really good. It made it difficult for them. But the game is still alive and it will be tough in Villarreal.” (Reuters)

 

 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Posts

latest

Aubameyang Calls Time On International Career Aubameyang Calls Time On International Career
Uncategorized7 hours ago

Aubameyang Calls Time On International Career

Ayomikun Elemikan Barcelona striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has announced his retirement from international football. The former Arsenal man played 72 games...

Onuoha Reveals Reason He Rejected Super Eagles Invitations Onuoha Reveals Reason He Rejected Super Eagles Invitations
Uncategorized7 hours ago

Onuoha Reveals Reason He Rejected Super Eagles Invitations

Ayomikun Elemikan   Former Manchester City and QPR defender, Nedum Onuoha has said he rejected the opportunity to play for...

Sports Minister Charges Volleyball Federation On Grassroots Development Sports Minister Charges Volleyball Federation On Grassroots Development
Volleyball11 hours ago

Sports Minister Charges Volleyball Federation On Grassroots Development

Ayomikun Elemikan The Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare has called on the Nigeria Volleyball Federation...

frankfurt-beat-rangers-to-win-europa-league-trophy frankfurt-beat-rangers-to-win-europa-league-trophy
Europa League11 hours ago

Frankfurt Beat Rangers To Win Europa League Trophy

  Eintracht Frankfurt won the Europa League final after holding their nerve to beat Rangers 5-4 in a clinical penalty...

Nigerian Players1 day ago

U20 WAFU Zone B: Flying Eagles Beat Côte d’Ivoire To Final Spot

Ayomikun Elemikan Nigeria’s U20 male national football team, the Flying Eagles have booked a place in the 2023 U-20 Africa...

premier-league-newcastle-dent-arsenal-champions-league-hopes premier-league-newcastle-dent-arsenal-champions-league-hopes
EPL3 days ago

Premier League: Newcastle Dent Arsenal Champions League Hopes

  Newcastle United earned a stunning 2-0 win over Arsenal to put paid to the Gunners’ hopes of securing Champions...

super-falcons-ebi-oshoala-30-others-invited-to-afcon-camp-in-morocco super-falcons-ebi-oshoala-30-others-invited-to-afcon-camp-in-morocco
Super Falcons3 days ago

Super Falcons: Ebi, Oshoala, 30 Others Invited To AWCON Camp In Morocco

    Head Coach Randy Waldrum has invited 32 players to the camp of the Super Falcons as the Cup...

bayelsa-queens-pip-rivers-angels-in-nwfl-premiership-super-6-opener bayelsa-queens-pip-rivers-angels-in-nwfl-premiership-super-6-opener
NWFL3 days ago

Bayelsa Queens Pip Rivers Angels In NWFL Premiership Super 6 Opener

    A late goal from Bayelsa Queens forward Monday Gift ensured that the ‘Prosperity’ girls got all three points...