Liverpool 3-0 Villarreal (agg 3-1): Sturridge and Lallana send Reds into Europa League final

An own goal from Bruno Soriano followed by strikes from Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana saw Jurgen Klopp's men overturn a first-leg deficit and reach the final.

Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana scored crucial second-half goals as Liverpool booked their place in the Europa League final with a 3-1 aggregate win over Villarreal on Thursday.

Trailing from the first leg, Bruno's early own goal gave Jurgen Klopp's men an excellent start before Sturridge – who had been controversially left out in Spain – and Lallana netted the decisive strikes to seal a 3-0 win on the night at Anfield.

Villarreal produced very little as an attacking force throughout Thursday's second leg and then had defender Victor Ruiz sent off for a second yellow card.

Liverpool, who have won the competition three times, now go on to face record four-time champions and holders Sevilla in Basel on May 18 after Unai Emery's men defeated Shakhtar Donetsk in the other last-four tie.

Villarreal, meanwhile, have suffered defeat in all four of the European semi-finals they have participated in – one in the Champions League three in the Europa League.

The visitors looked to get on the front foot early on, with Simon Mignolet getting down sharply to deny Mario and Jonathan dos Santos firing over shortly afterwards.

But Liverpool were ahead inside seven minutes. Nathaniel Clyne's cross was only pushed out as far as Roberto Firmino by goalkeeper Alphonse Areola – who replaced Sergio Asenjo from the first leg – allowing the Brazil international to help the ball back across the face of goal.

Despite Sturridge being unable to make contact in a busy goalmouth, Bruno was in close proximity and inadvertently netted.

Liverpool threatened to make it two almost immediately when Lallana swept wide from James Milner's delivery, while Cedric Bakambu shot tamely at Mignolet at the other end as the teams went into half-time with the tie level.

Areola dealt with efforts from Philippe Coutinho, Milner and Sturridge early in the second half, while Roberto Soldado headed off target for Villarreal.

Another Sturridge effort was also kept out after he had been fed by Lallana, before the England striker netted with 63 minutes gone.

Firmino chested down and slipped through a pass from the edge of the box, with Sturridge taking one touch and firing in a shot that Areola could only divert onto the inside of the post.

Villarreal's hopes of a comeback were dealt a massive blow when Ruiz was handed a second yellow card after arriving late as he attempted to steal possession from Lallana.

There a moment of drama before Liverpool could be sure of their place in the final when Denis Suarez claimed for a penalty after going down following Alberto Moreno's pressure from behind, but referee Viktor Kassai was unmoved.

And the tie was put beyond doubt with nine minutes remaining when Firmino made great progress down the left to beat Mateo Musacchio and cut back for Sturridge, whose scuffed shot was helped over the line by Lallana from close range.

Sturridge could have scored again in the closing stages, but was kept out by the legs of Areola after being played in by Clyne, though it did nothing to dampen the joyous Anfield mood.

About us

Betnumbers offers free daily bet tips on football (soccer) games all over the world with over 65% success rate.

© 2017 all rights reserved

web design - XTD