3 reasons prevented Liverpool from achieving a big victory over Villarreal

Liverpool managed to take precedence over Villarreal, Spain, by defeating them 2-0, on Wednesday evening, April 27, in the first leg of the semi-finals of the European Champions League.

The first goal for Liverpool came through the Ecuadorean left-back of Villarreal, Pervis Estobinian, by an own goal in the 53rd minute, then Senegalese Sadio Mane added the second goal in the 55th minute.

The two teams will meet next Tuesday, May 3, at La Ceramica, the stronghold of Villarreal, in the second leg match to determine the identity of the finalist on May 28, at St-Denis Stadium in the French capital, Paris.

Liverpool Villarreal One One Winwin

Liverpool’s victory was not easy against Villarreal, who formed the tournament’s surprise par excellence after they eliminated both Juventus in the final price and Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals. German coach Jurgen Klopp’s men struggled to score the double that brought them closer to the Paris final on May 28 2022.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPPxnqgS8KESummary of the match between Liverpool and Villarreal in the Champions League semi-final first leg

Looking at the match, it seems that Liverpool’s struggle to win is due to three reasons, which were clearly evident in the first half, before the team surpassed them in the second half and scored two goals.

A tight defensive organization for Villarreal against Liverpool in the first half

Villarreal’s Spanish coach, Unai Emery, entered the match with great realism, as he adopted a defensive block style and a quick attacking rebound, knowing that playing an open offensive confrontation with Liverpool would not be in the interest of his team.

Based on this idea, Villarreal defended with ten players in the first half, as everyone without exception was in the areas of the “yellow submarines” team in an attempt to block all the ports leading to the goal of Argentine goalkeeper Jeronimo Trulli, the Spanish team did not appear at all in the attack, but was present with distinction in defense. , and created many problems for the attack of the Reds.

A negative number for Villarreal against Liverpool

During the entire confrontation, Villarreal only hit one shot against the Brazilian goalkeeper of Liverpool, Alisson Becker, and was satisfied with the defensive side, which did not help him to avoid the loss at Anfield.

Villarreal’s goalkeeper saves prevented Liverpool from achieving a big win

The defensive organization of Villarreal did not prevent Liverpool from threatening the Trulli goal, as Klopp’s men tried to find other solutions, so they relied on shooting often, but they collided with the stability of the Argentine goalkeeper for submarines.

During the 90 minutes of the match, Trulli saved three attacking attempts out of 6 shots on goal, and failed to stop the two goals, as well as Tigua Alcantara’s shot that hit the crossbar in the 42nd minute.

Liverpool were not at their best offensively against Villarreal

Despite the precious victory he achieved before the return match at the “La Ceramica” stadium on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, Liverpool were not at their best, especially in the offensive side that characterizes the team’s style of play.

Liverpool scored 25 goals in the current version of the Champions League, starting from the group stage and ending in the two quarter-final matches against Benfica, but the team lacked offensive effectiveness during the confrontation with submarines.

In the face of Villarreal, Liverpool made 20 offensive attempts, but only scored two goals, and among the most prominent reasons for this is the slowness in the offensive transformations, as the Reds are used to, especially in the first half.

12 offensive attempts by Liverpool in the half-time without scoring any goal

In the second half, the team’s style changed, and it regained some of its usual offensive activity. The solutions varied, and the players exchanged positions; What caused confusion in Villarreal’s defense, so the gaps that came from the two goals appeared.

Facts and figures from the Champions League semi-final match between Liverpool and Villarreal

Here are facts from the Champions League semi-final first leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal:

  • Sadio Mane scored against Villarreal his 14th goal in the knockout stages of the Champions League, equaling Didier Drogba’s record as the African with the most goals in the history of the tournament, according to the network. Opta.
  • The Senegalese international occupies the second place in the list of the most goalscoring players in the Champions League knockout stage with 14 goals, a goal difference behind French striker Karim Benzema, Real Madrid striker, and ahead of the same difference over Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo and Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski.
  • Villarreal goalkeeper Jeronimo Rulli made more passes than any other player in his team in the first half, with 16 passes.
  • Liverpool played the semi-finals of the European Cup / Champions League for the 12th time in its history, equaling the number of Manchester United as the most popular English club at this stage.
  • Mohamed Salah’s decisive pass to Sadio Mane was his first in the Champions League this season and the seventh between this pair in the European competition; Through it, the Egyptian succeeded in equalizing the number of decisive passes previously recorded between him and Roberto Firmino, and also between the English duo Wayne Rooney and Welshman Ryan Giggs, according to a statistic of the network. Opta Specialized in numbers and statistics.

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