Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told his players he wanted Spain to see his ‘mentality monsters’ in their Champions League semi-final second leg and was relieved they eventually made an appearance. Great match, ideal for online betting.
The Reds boss’ intention was for his players to come out of the blocks and consolidate their 2-0 first-leg lead over Villarreal to ensure passage to a third final in five seasons.
What actually happened was they had to prove their ability to react to adversity after the advantage was wiped out by debut goals in the competition from Boulaye Dia and Francis Coquelin.
The introduction of winger Luis Diaz at half-time and a tactical tweak saw the match turned on its head with three goals in 12 minutes from Fabinho, Diaz, and Sadio Mane, helped by an unconvincing goalkeeping performance by goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli.
Not only was this their first European semi-final away leg win in five attempts since 1985, the 5-2 aggregate scoreline also ensured Liverpool became the first English club to reach the final of the European Cup/Champions League, FA Cup, and League Cup in the same season.