August 19, 2022

The last time you want to be making mistakes

At one stage it looked as if Villarreal could well pull off a Champions League miracle against Liverpool on Tuesday night in the second leg of the semi final.

After coming into the second leg two goals down the underdogs found themselves level at the break after first half goals from Boulaye Dia and Francis Coquelin had the ‘Yellow Submarine’ in the ascendancy and Jurgen Klopp’s men on the ropes.

However any time chasing a quadruple will find their way back into the game somehow and showed their resilience once again with a second half strike to put themselves 3-2 ahead on aggregate.

For all of the Reds’ goalscoring exploits, it was one of the more unlikely sources of inspiration who put them back in front, Fabinho.

Linking up well with Mohamed Salah on the right wing, the Brazilian found himself with acres of space in the box, enabling him to fire a low-driven effort at ‘keeper Geronimo Rulli.

Despite the effort appearing to look straightforward, the Argentine made a hash of it, allowing the ball to go in-between his legs and deflect into the back of the net.

It was a wounding moment for the hosts – who had worked so resiliently to cause Liverpool problems – as they were then punished again just five minutes later.

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Substitute Luis Diaz got on the end of Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross to nod home and restore Liverpool’s two-goal aggregate advantage.

After making one mistake, Rulli was hoping that he would be able to step up to the plate and recover a second time round however he then found himself at fault as Sadio Mané pounced on another mistake.

Villarreal Liverpool Champions League

The ‘keeper came rushing out of his goal to clear the ball but was beaten in the foot race by the Senegal international kept his cool and rounded the Argentinian to assure Liverpool would be going to the Champions League final in Paris.

While Villarreal can be proud of themselves for the way they have performed in the Champions League this season, it will be a night that Rulli won’t be quick to remember in a hurry.

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