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Villarreal vs. Liverpool result and highlights: Champions League final spot sealed by Reds in game of two comebacks

Liverpool have sealed their place in the Champions League final with a brilliant late fightback against Villarreal to win 3-2 on the night in Spain.

Liverpool are through to a third Champions League final in five seasons after an incredible 5-2 aggregate semi-final win over Villarreal.

Jurgen Klopp's side surrendered their two-goal first-leg advantage in a disjointed first-half display in Castellon, as goals from Boulaye Dia and Francis Coquelin threatened to cause an iconic upset.

However, the half-time introduction of Luis Diaz turned the tide for Liverpool, as the Colombian headed them level on the night, following Fabinho's close-range finish.

The visitors showed their ruthlessness late on, as Sadio Mane pounced on Geronimo Rulli's error to slot home a third goal, before Etienne Capoue was dismissed for a second booking in the final minutes.

MORE: Villarreal vs. Liverpool best bets, odds, lines, picks, and expert predictions

European subs prove key for Klopp again

With Liverpool's 2022 quadruple dreams in danger of ending in bizarre fashion in Castellon, Klopp once again turned to his substitutes bench on a big European night.

The second-half introductions of Diaz and Roberto Firmino against Inter Milan in the last 16 saw the Reds over the line at the San Siro, and the Colombia international proved his worth again tonight.

Klopp is attempting to balance Diaz against Diogo Jota within his starting front three, but Diaz's immediate impact since signing in January is quickly moving him up the pecking order.

Liverpool in the first half vs Villarreal:

◎ 0 goals◎ 2 shots◎ 0 shots on target◎ 2 take-ons completed◎ 49% possession

The first 25 minutes of the second half:

◉ 2 goals◉ 8 shots◉ 3 shots on target◉ 6 take-ons completed◉ 75% possession

The Luis Díaz effect™ pic.twitter.com/Avq5aLpGYL

— Squawka (@Squawka) May 3, 2022

His pace and directness instantly unsettled Villarreal's set-up after the break, with spaces that did not exist in the first 45 minutes opening up.

Another crucial goal, to level the game on the night, demonstrates his consistency in key moments, and he looks to nail down a starting spot in Paris later this month.

Main man Mane shines again

Diaz's introduction helped to imbalance Villarreal's rigid defence but the adaptability of Mane underlined how important Liverpool's No.10 is to Klopp.

He rotated with Jota between a wide left and a central position before break, but Diaz's energy is best utilised out wide, and Mane moved into the middle.

The former Southampton man has made the position his own in recent weeks, with Diaz starting more games, and Mo Salah settled on the right.

But, Mane's intelligence both on and off the ball makes him a perfect operator to drop deep and link with the midfield, while springing in behind with greater impetus than Jota or Firmino.

A outstanding player across the front line, Mane's seamless switch to a "false nine" has unlocked another level to his game, and allows Diaz and Salah to flourish even more.

6️⃣ games.6️⃣ wins.

???? #LFC have been ???????????????????????????????????????????? on their travels in the #UCL this season! ????

???? One last road trip to Paris to tick off for the Reds. #VILLIV | #YNWA pic.twitter.com/WU5JI3vODg

— ???????????? ???????????????????????????????? ???????????????? UK ???????? (@sportingnewsuk) May 3, 2022
Defensive wobbles will concern Klopp

The narrative of the night will be dominated by Liverpool's fightback to write another chapter in their European legacy.

However, the meticulous Klopp will be concerned by their listless first-half display, with Villarreal unlucky not to be ahead by more than two goals.

Crosses into the box have been an issue at times for the Liverpool defence this season, with Trent Alexander-Arnold well beaten by Coquelin, as Villarreal smelt blood.

Villarreal's goals were not borne out of Liverpool errors, but a lack of cohesion and intensity right the way through the team on the night.

Even within their gruelling schedule, Liverpool have maintained their reputation for smothering opposition teams early on, but the ferocity of Villarreal's early play disrupted their flow, and it is an issue for Klopp to address ahead of two finals this month.

Villarreal vs. Liverpool final score   1H 2H Final Villarreal 2 2 2 Liverpool 3 3 3

Goals (assists):

VIL:

Boulaye Dia (Pervis Estupinan) — 3rd min

Francis Coquelin (Etienne Capoue) — 41st min

LIV:

Fabinho (Mo Salah)  — 62nd min

Luis Diaz (Trent Alexander-Arnold)  — 66th min

Sadio Mane (Naby Keita) — 74th min

Villarreal vs. Liverpool live updates and highlights

FULL-TIME: An incredible night at the Estadio de la Ceramica!

A game of two halves in Castellon as Liverpool produced a dominant second half performance to break Villarreal hearts on the night. Boulaye Dia and Francis Coquelin's early goals set the stage for a potential shock but the Reds were ruthless in the second half, as Fabinho, Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane completely turned the tie around to seal their place in the final.

Liverpool reach their third #UCL final in five years. ???? pic.twitter.com/rxG4Yk2wgR

— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) May 3, 2022

88th Min: Liverpool break and look for a fourth on the night but Salah gets his feet in a tangle and Villarreal clear their lines.

85th Min: A miserable end for Villarreal

Liverpool substitute Curtis Jones zips away from Capoue and the former Spurs midfielder brings him down. A second booking and the Frenchman is sent off!!!

Villarreal will end the game with ten men.

74th Min: INCREDIBLE FROM LIVERPOOL

From 2-0 down to 3-2 in front on the night...........and 5-2 on aggregate!!!!! Keita's long ball forward frees Mane in behind and Rulli makes a mess of his clearance to let the Senegalese star to roll home a fifth aggregate goal!!!

41': Villarreal 2-0 Liverpool74': Villarreal 2-3 Liverpool

Back in full control of this tie! ????#UCL pic.twitter.com/dlKwB2yvPm

— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 3, 2022
*Only Available in UK

Mane passes the ball into an empty net after rounding Gerónimo Rulli! ⚽️

Liverpool have turned this around with such ease in the second half!

Three goals in the space of 12 minutes ????#UCL pic.twitter.com/XsohPejL2j

— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 3, 2022
*Only Available in USA

Sadio Mane puts the tie on ice. ???? pic.twitter.com/RDysSIn6UY

— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) May 3, 2022

66th Min: LIVERPOOL HAVE TURNED IT AROUND

Klopp's visitors have wrestled control back and they are now 30 minutes away from the final in Paris!!! Alexander-Arnold has time to hang a cross into the back post and Diaz nods past Rulli.

LUIS DÍAZ PUTS IT THROUGH RULLI'S LEGS. AGAIN. ???? pic.twitter.com/VVmAA2OIAr

— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) May 3, 2022

What a reaction from Liverpool!!!

62nd Min: LIVERPOOL RESPOND

A reaction has been coming from Liverpool and Klopp's side are back in front on aggregate. Salah spots a gap in behind the Villarreal back line and Fabinho fires home through Rulli's legs.

*Only Available in UK

Fabinho slams the ball home! ????

Liverpool weren't going to roll over that easily...

Gerónimo Rulli won't want to see that one again! ???? #UCL pic.twitter.com/vJvXvAYVCE

— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 3, 2022
*Only Available in USA

FABINHO HITS IT THROUGH RULLI'S LEGS. ???? pic.twitter.com/dN4Cdi82Gk

— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) May 3, 2022

56th Min: Two QUICKFIRE chances for Liverpool

Villarreal are caught sleeping from a quick Liverpool free kick and Trent Alexander-Arnold's shot loops of Coquelin and clips the top of Geronimo Rulli's crossbar.

Liverpool come again and Diaz goes for an acrobatic volley at the back post but his effort flies wide!!

50th Min: Liverpool have struggled more than any other game this season with a first half xG of 0.006

Liverpool have three touches in the Villarreal penalty area for their lowest first-half total in all competitions this season, while their 0.06 xG is their second-lowest first-half mark.#VILLIV #UCL

— The Analyst (@OptaAnalyst) May 3, 2022

46th Min: WE ARE BACK!!!

A HUGE 45 MINUTES INCOMING IN CASTELLON

A change at the break for Liverpool as Luis Diaz replaces Jota but Moreno looks set to soldier on for Villarreal.

46' - The second-half is underway. Diaz is on in place of Jota at the break.

[2-0]#UCL | #VILLIV

— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 3, 2022

HALF TIME: Villarreal 2 Liverpool 0

An incredible first 45 minutes in Castellon as goals from Boulaye Dia and Francis Coquelin have flipped the script to level the tie at 2-2 on aggregate.

❌ Francis Coquelin for #AFC: 0 goals in 160 appearances.

???? Francis Coquelin for #VCF is a different beast! ????

The unlikely #UCL hero with a ???????????? header to help Villarreal turn this tie on it's head! ⚖️#VILLIV pic.twitter.com/JwE4DwV6tU

— ???????????? ???????????????????????????????? ???????????????? UK ???????? (@sportingnewsuk) May 3, 2022

Liverpool need a response in the second 45 as the Yellow Submarine look for a historical upset!!!!

41st Min: 2-0 VILLARREAL!!!!! THE HOSTS ARE LEVEL ON AGGREGATE!!!!

Incredible stuff as Villarreal draw level on aggregate just before the break. Etienne Capoue does well to keep a loose ball alive inside the box and his back post dink is headed home by Francis Coquelin!!!!

*Only Available in UK

WOOOOOOOOW! ????

A great cross, a stunning leap, and a perfect header! ????

Francis Coquelin has drawn this tie level!#UCL pic.twitter.com/bmpwsptIAp

— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 3, 2022

GAME ON!!!!

*Only Available in USA

FRANCIS COQUELIN! TIE LEVEL! ???? pic.twitter.com/QjsKXbwVUB

— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) May 3, 2022

36th Min: PENALTY SHOUT FOR VILLARREAL

Lo Celso burst in behind Virgil van Dijk and collides with Alisson............but referee Danny Makkelie waves away the hosts shouts for a spot kick.

Worrying news for Villarreal as Moreno appears to be struggling........

An incredible moment. Everyone expects a penalty, ref immediately waved it away.

— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) May 3, 2022

30th Min: Tight opening half hour in Castellon

???????????? Who's on top in Villarreal?#UCL pic.twitter.com/WH9s47Qkin

— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 3, 2022

23rd Min: Liverpool break through again as Jota races in behind the Villarreal back line but Raul Albiol recovers superbly to snuff out the danger.

15th Min: More positive play from Liverpool as a loose ball bounces kindly for Naby Keita and his drive clips the top of the crossbar.........but the offside flag goes up!!

What a time for Boulaye Dia to score his first-ever Champions League goal!

This tie just got a little bit more interesting ????#UCL pic.twitter.com/q6cxCBQtmb

— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 3, 2022

9th Min: Liverpool are slowly beginning to ease their way into the contest as Diogo Jota scuffs wide from Andy Robertson's low free kick.

3rd Min: VILLLLLLLLARRREAALLLL TAKE THE LEAD

A DREAM start for Villarreal as Boulaye Dia hands them a 1-0 lead!!!!

*Only Available in UK

Boulaye Dia gets the opener! ⚽️

Villarreal have already halved their deficit in the third minute of the game! ????

This tie IS NOT over! ????#UCL pic.twitter.com/fKUIE4JZ7F

— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 3, 2022

Giovani Lo Celso's cross is recycled back into the box by Pervis Estupinan and Dia pokes home past Alisson!!!

*Only Available in USA

VILLARREAL INSIDE 3 MINUTES. ????

What a time for Boulaye Dia to score his first #UCL goal! ???? pic.twitter.com/k73ozw98zL

— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) May 3, 2022

WOW!

#UCL | 1-0 ⏱ 3' | ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOL! ¡GOOOOOOOOL DEEEEE DIAAA! pic.twitter.com/oJ5qrlpp4Q

— Villarreal CF (@VillarrealCF) May 3, 2022

KICK OFF!!!

Liverpool get the game underway!!!

5 Mins to KO: Moreno is the key for Villarreal

Can Moreno inspire Villarreal to the final? 

17 - Gerard Moreno ???????? has been involved 17 goals in his last 16 games in European competitions for @VillarrealCFen (ten goals & seven assists).#UEL : 7 goals & 3 assists#UEFA Supercup: 1 goal#UCL : 2 goals & 4 assists

Return#VillarrealLiverpool ????????#ChampionsLeague pic.twitter.com/Ond1bsAIqV

— OptaJose (@OptaJose) May 3, 2022

20 Mins to KO: Villarreal will be hoping to spring a shock

Former Arsenal star Robert Pires played on that famous night against Villarreal - both later joining the Yellow Submarine - and he believes Liverpool will be in for a battle right from the start tonight!!

*Only Available in UK

????‍????

Arsène Wenger shares his memories of Arsenal's famous 0-0 Champions League semi-final second leg draw with Villarreal in 2006 and offers some tactical advice for Liverpool! #beINUCL #UCL #VILLIV

Watch Now ???? https://t.co/NRYe31nXnO pic.twitter.com/4Lnq8STrvl

— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_EN) May 3, 2022

35 Mins to KO: Can Villarreal go one better than 2006?

Villarreal's only previous Champions League semi final came in 2006 as Arsene Wenger's Arsenal drew 0-0 in the second leg in Castellon to progress to the final with a 1-0 aggregate win. Can Emery rewrite history tonight?

????‍????

Arsène Wenger shares his memories of Arsenal's famous 0-0 Champions League semi-final second leg draw with Villarreal in 2006 and offers some tactical advice for Liverpool! #beINUCL #UCL #VILLIV

Watch Now ???? https://t.co/NRYe31nXnO pic.twitter.com/4Lnq8STrvl

— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_EN) May 3, 2022

45 Mins to KO: The Rain in Spain

Torrential rain in the Castellon area has continued all day with the poor weather set to continue right up until KO at the Estadio de la Ceramica.

Bucketing down in Villarreal again pic.twitter.com/n9n2uHk60g

— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) May 3, 2022

55 Mins to KO: Moreno returns for Villarreal

A bold starting side for Emery on the night in Castellon as Spain international Gerard Moreno returns to lead the hosts attack. He replaces Arnaut Danjuma, with Boulaye Dia preferred ahead of Samuel Chukwueze as his strike partner.

¡Nuestro 1️⃣1️⃣ inicial para el partidazo histórico ante el Liverpool!#UCL pic.twitter.com/mfvZtviHtr

— Villarreal CF (@VillarrealCF) May 3, 2022

1 hour to KO: TEAM NEWS IS IN!!!!

The BIG GUNS are back for Klopp following a raft of changes for their 2-0 Premier League win over Newcastle. Two alterations from the first leg win at Anfield with Naby Keita and Diogo Jota in for skipper Jordan Henderson and Luis Diaz.

⭐ TEAM NEWS ⭐

The Reds to face @VillarrealCF tonight in the #UCL semi-final second leg! #VILLIV

— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 3, 2022

1 hour 40 mins to KO: Just over 90 minutes until KO on a HUGE night at the Estadio de la Ceramica

The stage is set ????#UCL | #VILLIV pic.twitter.com/dDTZMKP2aC

— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 3, 2022

2 hours to KO: Welcome to The Sporting News' live coverage of Liverpool's second-leg trip to Villarreal, with a place in Paris on the line. Home boss Unai Emery wants perfection from Villarreal: 

???? @UnaiEmery_ ????#UCL pic.twitter.com/y9KQ6hK0CZ

— Villarreal CF English (@VillarrealCFen) May 3, 2022
How to watch Liverpool vs. Villarreal   UK USA Canada Australia Date May 3 May 3 May 3 May 4 Time 20:00 BST 15:00 ET 15:00 ET 05:00 AET TV channel BT Sport 2 CBS DAZN Stan Sport Streaming BT Sport Paramount+ DAZN Stan Sport

In the US, Spanish-language coverage of the Champions League is also available on fuboTV, which offers a free trial to new subscribers.

In Canada, every Champions League game streams live on DAZN. 

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