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UEFA Championship

Liverpool 2-0 Villarreal

Liverpool is in the driving seat of their Champions League semi-final against Villarreal after a 2-0 win at Anfield on Wednesday.

A game that was never likely to match the excitement of Tuesday’s seven-goal thriller between Manchester City and Real Madrid.

Finally came to life in the second half as an own goal from Pervis Estupinan and a Sadio Mane strike sealed a first-leg solid advantage for the Reds.

What does it mean? Liverpool show patience to breakthrough, again

Liverpool finally overcame a determined Everton in the Merseyside derby on Sunday.

It was said to be perfect preparation for Villarreal, who would always come to Anfield in the first leg.

That proved to be the case as, like with the Toffees, Villarreal kept Liverpool at bay in the first half, running down the clock, blocking all attacks and keeping their net unbothered.

However, the relentless Reds again managed to force a couple of second-half goals, having had 19 shots, facing just one solo effort from the visitors.

Thiago once again shines in the middle.

In recent games, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich midfielders have been purring in Liverpool’s midfield.

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He was on form again here as he helped dissect a stubborn opposition.

Thiago completed 99 of 103 passes (96.1 per cent), enjoying an excellent pass completion percentage in the opposition’s half of 94.1 from 68 attempts. He also made more interceptions than anyone (five) and gained possession ten times.

More English misery for Yellow Submarine.

Emery’s men fought bravely but eventually succumbed to a strong and determined Liverpool team.

Since a 2-1 victory on Merseyside against Everton in August 2005, Villarreal has not managed to win any of their last nine away games in England in all competitions (drawn three, lost six), having also tasted defeat at Manchester United in the group stages earlier this season.

What’s next?

On Saturday, Liverpool travels to Newcastle United as they resume their title chase in the Premier League.

Meanwhile, Villarreal is away to Deportivo Alaves on the same day.

In recent games, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich midfielders have been purring in Liverpool’s midfield.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

He was on form again here as he helped dissect a stubborn opposition.

Likewise, for more football news like this, click here.

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