Villarreal vs Liverpool – 4 talking points
Liverpool travelled to Spain to face Villarreal in the first leg of the Europa league semi-final and the Reds lost to the Yellow Submarine with a goal in the dying minutes of the game. Klopp had a tough task with his team selection and had a lot of limitations before the game. Here are some of the key talking points generated from the game.
Sturridge should have started
Roberto Firmino has not been the striker to do wonders on the big European nights and Jurgen Klopp gave the Brazilian a nod ahead of Sturridge in the big game. Sturridge has been in a cracking form lately and his exclusion from the starting 11 came as a shock to many. Klopp should have given him the nod ahead of Firmino for this one and had that been the case, there might have been a different outcome to the game.
Allen impresses again
Joe Allen has been tremendous for Liverpool lately and even in this game he was in a brilliant touch. The Welsh Xavi does not disappoint especially on big European nights and he proved that yet again in this clash. Ever since the rumors of his departure have been observed in the media, his performances for Liverpool have been very good and Klopp might favor keeping him at Anfield for the next season.
Liverpool were having a dull game in terms of attacks and chances created. the first half was very silent for the Reds and Klopp was forced to take off Coutinho and he brought on Jordan Ibe on the 46th minute. However, this did not turn out well as Ibe could not contribute much to the game. Also, there was a need for a change in personnel up-front but Klopp did not do that until the last minute when he brought Benteke for a mere 120 seconds. The substitutions were not as per the demand of the game and could have been better.
A tough second leg
Villarreal have made their intentions clear and they will travel to Anfield a goal ahead on aggregate. Marcelino’s men were determinant at the back and had a good game in the first leg. For Liverpool, it will not be an easy task in the second leg as they will have a tough fight against the men in Yellow. Klopp will definitely have to come up with a different approach for the game.