Kick-off: 2000, 03/05/2022
Stadium: El Madrigal
TV: BT Sport
Liverpool didn’t quite fully sink the Yellow Submarine at Anfield but it is hard to see Villarreal overcoming a 2-0 deficit in the second leg.
In fact, such was the Reds’ dominance on Merseyside, they are expected to oblige again in Spain in this Champions League semi-final.
We reckon 3.6 for an away win by any one-goal margin is worth support in our main Villarreal vs Liverpool prediction.
Having relied on their resilience and determination to upset Juventus and Bayern Munich, Villarreal set out to stifle Liverpool in their opening encounter.
Unai Emery’s side held firm until half-time but were undone by two goals in the space of 133 seconds early on in the second period.
The Reds received a slice of luck when Jordan Henderson’s cross was deflected beyond keeper Geronimo Rulli and Sadio Mane then just beat the offside trap to double the advantage.
“They were better than us,” admitted Emery. “We wanted to play a better game, create better chances on goal for ourselves, but we needed to be on the defensive a lot.
“We wanted to get on the scoresheet and we weren’t able to do that. We didn’t create any chances at all, we never got near their goal.
“But it could have been a worse hill to climb and 2-0 still gives us a chance to have a different performance at home. We are still alive.”
Villarreal will have to come out more and they have scored in four of their five European home games this season.
However, that just points us towards Villarreal vs Liverpool odds.
Punters may also be tempted by the same bet in our Real Madrid vs Man City preview for the other semi.
Liverpool had 73 per cent of the possession at Anfield and outshot their opponents 19-1 in a completely one-sided affair.
Fabinho had a goal disallowed and Luis Diaz looked a threat throughout, while Villarreal struggled to even get out of their own half.
However, Jurgen Klopp will not allow complacency to creep in and declared: “It is a dangerous scoreline.
“How much work is left to do? The full work is still to do. Nothing has happened yet!
“We know the other game will be a tricky atmosphere for us, but everyone could see we fought with all we have.
“We played a really good game, now in six days we play again and we have to make sure we are ready.”
The Reds have been outstanding on the road in this competition, coming out on top in all five away fixtures.
They have prevailed when visiting Atletico Madrid, Porto, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Benfica – although with only one clean sheet.
Klopp may look to keep it steady early on and then pounce when Villarreal are forced to chase the game.
That makes 8.0 for a 2-1 away win.
(Assist: Étienne Capoue)
(Assist: Étienne Capoue)
(Assist: Mohamed Salah)
|67'||Luis Díaz |
(Assist: Trent Alexander-Arnold)
|74'||Sadio Mané |
(Assist: Naby Keïta)
|Giovani Lo Celso||82'|
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