Liverpool recovered from a loss in the first leg to beat Villarreal 3-1 on aggregate in their Europa League semi-final at Anfield on Thursday.
- Liverpool 3 Villarreal 0
- Bruno scores own goal
- Sturridge grabs the second
- Ruiz sent off
- Lallana secures progress to final
Villarreal’s 1-0 lead from the first leg did not last long as Bruno had the ball in the back of his own net just seven minutes into the match.
Liverpool were comfortably the better side throughout the fixture and Daniel Sturridge put them ahead on aggregate with the second goal of the night in the 63rd minute.
The night went from bad to worse for the visitors as Victor Ruiz saw red in the 71st minute for a second bookable offence before Adam Lallana put the result beyond doubt when he scored the third 10 minutes later.
Villarreal started well and Mario Gaspar forced a good save out of Simon Mignolet, but Liverpool responded well and, two minutes later, Bruno unluckily deflected a cross into his own net to bring the hosts level on aggregate.
A photo posted by Liverpool Football Club (@liverpoolfc) on
Lallana wasted a glorious opportunity to put the Reds ahead on aggregate when he found some space in the area, but couldn’t manage to hit the target with what looked to be an easy chance.
Liverpool continued to dominate possession throughout the first half but were limited to shots from long range.
After the break they had a bit more success breaking the visitors down and Sturridge had a shot blocked by Alphonse Areola in the 62nd minute before he was played in by Roberto Firmino a minute later and made no mistake this time time around to put the hosts 2-1 ahead on aggregate.
Victor Ruiz reduced his side’s chances of coming back into the match to virtually zero when he received his marching orders after picking up a second yellow card in the 71st minute.
Firmino then showed his skill to skip past two defenders and into the box before unleashing a powerful low drive goalward, but Areola pulled off a miraculous reaction save to keep the ball out.
Lallana secured Liverpool’s progress to the Europa League final in the 81st minute when he was played in one-on-one against the goalkeeper and coolly finished to put the Reds a 3-1 win on aggregate.
Following the final whistle… pic.twitter.com/pGEWxDyT5P
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 5, 2016