Liverpool stared death in the face tonight and won. A woeful first half saw a spirited Villarreal go 2-0 up on the night to level the tie. The second half was a completely different game as the Reds cut their hosts open time and again to win 3-2 on the night and seal qualification to the final. Here are player ratings from the game.

Alisson 6.5

He wasn’t calm in possession first half as he kept hitting it long. Nothing he could do about the two goals. Made a crucial interception when Lo Celso went through on goal to prevent giving way a penalty. Didn’t have any save of note to make.

Alexander-Arnold – 6.5

He was poor first half. Kept trying to kill the game with one pass everytime he got it. He was then caught ball watching for Coquelin’s header. Second half he was better, much calmer in possession and found lots of space on the right wing. His right footed crosses left a lot to be desired so he tried with his left foot and it was a peach for Diaz to make it 2-2. Saw his long range shot deflected onto the crossbar before that.

Konaté – 7.5

Thought he showed maturity beyond his years. One of the calmer heads first half even if he also gave it away once or twice. Fantastic whenever he had Dia one on one as he used his pace and physicality to win almost every battle. Headed a set piece wide.

Van Dijk 7

Tried setting the offside trap in the lead up to their first but once that failed, Villarreal were able to work it well and get the goal. He battled hard and won some huge headers.

Robertson – 5.5

Completely unaware of Capoue’s run behind him for their first. They clearly targeted him as Capoue once again sneaked in behind him and then beat him too easily to send in the cross. Not at his best tonight. No surprise when Tsimikas came on, especially considering the number of minutes Robbo has played lately.

Fabinho – 6.5

First half he couldn’t get on the ball and everytime he sought to pinch it back, he fouled his man. Much better second half and scored the all important first goal with a rasping drive straight through Rulli. His passing was much better as well. Given a breather late on.

Keita – 6.5

Terrible first half. Kept giving it away with one seeing Lo Celso go through on goal. You feared he might be taken off at the break like we’ve seen on some European aways. He improved second half and drove at their defence a lot more to cause problems. Played a wonderful first time ball over the top to set Mané away for the winner.

Thiago 6

He wanted too much time on the ball and they weren’t letting him have it. He could barely get a kick first half. Clipped the crossbar with a crisp strike after Keita hounded Parejo out of possession. That left hand side of him, Robbo and Sadio were well below par that first half. Another who improved after the break.


A running battle with Estupinan tonight. He was a huge part of the second half improvement as he stretched their backline with his runs in behind. He combined well with Trent to create a few openings. Lovely toe poke to put Fabinho through for the all important first. Should have scored late on when he cut in and stabbed wide instead of shooting with his right foot.

Mané – 7.5

Shocking first half. He was losing every duel to Albiol who didn’t allow him any time on the ball. Much better second half through the middle. Set Diaz up with a wonderful cross to the backpost. Took his goal like a champ and then tried to get Salah a goal by setting him up a few times.

Jota – 5

Wasn’t in the game first half. Played one lovely switch to Trent. Unlucky to be sacrificed but he can’t have any complaints when his replacement has the impact Diaz had.


Diaz – 10

First time he got it he just ran at Foyth. Something nobody had done first half. He ran at them a number of times before trying an ambitious overhead kick when a header would have sufficed. Saw another shot deflected just wide after another mazy dribble into the box.

He took his goal well, heading home through Rulli’s legs. He timed his run perfectly. Played a lovely ball across to Trent as he drifted infield. Special player. MOTM. Changed the game.

Henderson – 7

Got involved immediately when he cut the ball back to Jones on the edge of the box. Should have done much better with a shot from the edge of the box himself. Pressed them hard down that right channel.

Jones – 7

Got involved. Unlucky not to score when his shot clipped Rulli’s heel. He did the right thing by going back where the keeper was coming from. Unlucky. Taken out by Capoue for his second yellow. Gave it away once or twice.

Tsimikas – N/A

Came on for the last ten or so and kept Chukwueze quiet.

Milner – N/A

Came on for Fabinho to help see it out.

Jürgen Klopp

The gaffer made five changes to the side that beat Newcastle, recalling the five players he rested on Saturday. Alexander-Arnold and Konaté returned to the defence ahead of Gomez and Matip, whilst Fabinho and Thiago came into midfield for Henderson and Milner.

Salah also returned to the forward line with Luis Diaz dropping to the bench. His side were shell shocked first half as they gave up their first leg advantage in a horrendous display. It must have been an almighty halftime team talk to get his charges to not panic and play the way they did.

Made the changes at the right time as well with Luis Diaz coming on to turn the tie in our favour. Incredible comeback to seal their place in another Champions League final. He’s now led the side to the final of the all three Cup competitions this season. Unbelievable.



  1. What a match!
    I had my heart in my mouth the whole of first half, it was crazy, Villarreal brought the game to Liverpool, proud of the team and gaffer, they had to dig deep and turn things around.
    You can’t do a comeback against the comeback kings 👑

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I almost wet myself with shame at our horrendous display in the first half. But d moment I saw Diaz on d touchline coming in for 2nd half. I told.myself the game was won. Not drawn mind you. But won. What a night.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s