Welcome to Sportstar's highlights of the UEFA Champions League 2021-22 semifinal clash between Liverpool vs Villarreal being played at the Anfield Stadium in Liverpool, England.
This was Aneesh Dey bringing you the pre-match buildup minute-by-minute updates of this high-voltage clash. That was all for the night. Thanks for tuning in. Goodnight and take care.
Stat attack! The Liverpool dominance!
Full time ! (Liverpool 2-0 Villarreal)- FULL-TIME!- Sadio Mane and Pervis Estupinan's own goal gives Liverpool a 2-0 lead against Villarreal at the end of the first-leg.
90+2' Lo Celso's freekick is cleared to safety.
90+1' It has been an utterly dominant performance by Klopp's men. Apart from the occasional chance, Villarreal has not been able to create anything substantial throughout the match.
Two minutes added on!
88' Lo Celso with an inspiring run down the right flank which involves some lovely footwork to get past a couple of Liverpool players. He is eventually stopped by a good old-fashioned challenge by Fabinho.
87' Shot- Dia with a low shot across goal but it lacks power and accuracy as Alisson makes an easy save.
86' Villarreal Subs: IN- Paco Alcacer OUT- Arnaut Danjuma.
83' Origi finds Jota with a short cross from the left but the Portuguese cannot bring the ball under his control.
81' Liverpool Subs: IN- Divock Origi and Joe Gomez OUT- Luis Diaz and Alexander-Arnold.
79' Block- Alexander-Arnold's cross is headed away and the ball falls to Fabinho. He shoots but it is blocked by the sea of yellow bodies in front of him.
78' Shot- Jota with a good pass to Diaz who shoots across goal. However, he botches it horribly as the ball goes out for a goalkick.
73' The corner fails to clear the first man and the irritation on Emery's face is clear.
73' Villarreal with a rare attacking opportunity from a corner in front of the Kop.
72' Liverpool Subs: IN- Diogo Jota and Naby Keita OUT- Sadio Mane and Jordan Henderson.
72' Villarreal Subs: IN- Serge Aurier, Manu Trigueros and Boulaye Dia OUT- Dani Parejo, Pervis Estupinan and Samuel Chukweze.
71' Alexander-Arnold picks out Diaz with a wonderful ball. The latter takes the ball past Rulli but cannot put the ball inside the net.
68' Shot- Van Dijk takes a thunderous shot from an ambitious distance. The ball swerves mid-air and forces a save from Rulli.
66' Danjuma with a good run down the left flank. He squares the ball to Chukweze inside the box but he cannot get to the ball.
64' Robertson puts the ball inside the net from Alexander Arnold's pin-point delivery but the goal is ruled out for offside.
63' Robertson's cross inside the box from a Liverpool freekick beats everyone as Villarreal clears the ball to safety.
62' Booking- Giovani Lo Celso is shown yellow for bringing down Robertson
60' The second goal really takes the tie away from Unai Emery's men. They did well to keep out Liverpool in the first-half but it hasn't gone their way in the second.
57' Villarreal Sub: IN- Alfonso Pedraza OUT- Francis Coquelin
55' GOOOOAAALLL!! LIVERPOOL STRIKES AGAIN!! IT IS MANE!! Salah with great approach-play as he found Mane with a well-measured pass. Mane, who kept his cool, slided the ball past Rulli inside the net. A great finish to score his 20th goal of the season.
53' GOOOAAALLL!! LIVERPOOL LEADS !! ITS AN OWN GOAL BY ESTUPINAN!! Henderson's cross inside the box takes a deflection off Estupinan and Rulli is beaten by the looping trajectory of the ball. An unfortunate one to concede for the Yellow Submarines.
53' Alexander-Arnold with a first-time ball to Diaz who tries to head the ball home. But Rulli catches the ball.
50' Fabinho puts the ball inside the net but the referee raises his flag for offiside. Van Dijk was offside when he headed the ball down to Fabinho.
48' Alexander-Arnold swings one in from the freekick but the ball is cleared away by Albiol.
48' Booking- Estupinan brings down Salah and is shown a yellow card. Freekick to Liverpool at the edge of the box.
46' Pau Torres with a dangerous header directed towards his own keeper. Thankfully, Rulli reads the situation and gathers the ball.
Second half starts!
Half-time ! (Liverpool 0-0n Villarreal)
One added minute!
45' Fabinho finds Salah with a well-measured pass and it seemed like the latter was through on goal but the assistant referee raises his flag for offside.
43' Alexander-Arnold's cross finds Robertson on the opposite flank. The Scotsman tries to venture inside the boxz but is stopped in his tracks.
40' Off the post- Thiago shoots from almost 30 yards out but the ball is agonizingly close from going inside the goal as it hits the post.
39' Konate's sends a ball in the Villarreal box but Rulli comes out confidently and punches the ball.
35' Alexander-Arnold with a first time ball inside the box. The cross finds Salah who attempts a first-time volley but the effort is not on target. A great move by Liverpool.
34' Block- Another potentially goal-saving block. This time it is Lo Celso who blocks Salah's shot.
33' Block- Mane takes a shot on goal on the turn but Albiol got an important block to send it out for a corner.
32' Booking- Liverpool's Virgil Van Dijk gets his first Champions League yellow card of the season for challenge on Chukweze.
32' Rulli saves Diaz's right-footed curler. The shot was similar to that in the 13th minute.
31' Treatment done and Torres is okay to continue.
30' It was Torres who had jumped and headed away Alexander-Arnold's venomous shot. It has taken a toll on him as he is currently on the ground getting medical attention.
29' Alexander-Arnold takes the freekick but he cannot clear the wall as the ball is headed to safety by Villarreal.
28' Alexander-Arnold is brought down near the Villarreal box and it is a Liverpool freekick. A great chance for the Reds to take the lead.
27' Mane sets up Salah for the shot and the Egyptian obliges with his trademark left-foot curler. however, he cannot keep his effort on target as the ball sails above the crossbar.
24' Coquelin with a good block on Alexander-Arnold's attempted cross from the right.
22' Liverpool with a period of pressure on Villarreal's goal. Every Villarreal player back on defensive duty.
18' Villarreal with a good chance to counter but Chukweze fails to find the final pass as Liverpool gets back possession.
16' Emery's men not getting any time on the ball- classic Liverpool pressing.
13' Diaz's curling shot bounces awkwardly in front of Rulli and he cannot hold it. Fortunately, the rebound does not cause any danger as the keeper recovers in time and gathers the ball.
12' Chance- Salah finds Mane with a beautifully flighted pass but he cannot convert from close-range with his head. Best chance of the match so far.
10' Estupinan tries to get past Alexander-Arnold but the latter gets the better of him. He tries to clear but the ball hits Fabinho and goes out for a Villarreal corner.
8' A close shave for Villarreal as Konate's header from the corner fell to Mane but the Senagalese could not control it. Pau Torres clears the ball in time.
7' Lo Celso blocks Mane's cross from the left and it is a corner for Liverpool.
5' Diaz sends a searching ball inside the box from the left flank but the ball does not find a Liverpool player as Villarreal clear the ball to safety.
4' Klopp's men enjoying all the possession in the opening stages of the match. The Villarreal players aren't too keen on pressing.
2' Liverpool on the offensive right from kick-off as Red shirts crowd Villarreal's final third.
12:30 am: And we are underway!
12:25 am: Anfield reverberates with the fabled 'You'll Never Walk Alone' anthem of Liverpool football club. Kick-off moments away.
12:15 am: 15 minutes to kick-off!
12:00 am: What have the managers said?
11:45 pm: Form guide for last five matches
11:30 pm: Head-to-head record
Liverpool and Villarreal have come up against each other once before in the Europa League 2015-16 semifinal, where the Reds had come out victorious 3-1 on aggregate. The Spanish side will look to avenge the loss this time around.
11:16 pm- Starting lineups out!
Liverpool XI: Alisson (GK) ,Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson (C), Thiago, Diaz, Salah, Mane.
Manager: Jurgen Klopp.
Villarreal XI: Rulli(GK), Albiol (C), Torres, Parejo, Capoue, Foyth, Chukweze, Estupinan, Danjuma, Lo Celso, Coquelin.
Manager: Unai Emery.
The Reds have already won one silverware this season beating Chelsea on penalties in the League Cup final and will hope to get into its third Champions League final under manager Jurgen Klopp.
Liverpool was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the tournament last year by Real Madrid -- a team it has a chance of facing if it goes through against the Unai Emery's Villarreal.
Villarreal, on the other hand, beat Bayern Munich to enter its third Champions Semifinal ever, its first since 2005-06. Emery has already been immortalised at the club as he guided it to its first European trophy, the Europa League in last year.
With the competition finally down to the final four, it will be interseting to see whether Unai Emery can carry the 'yellow submarine' to its first ever UCL final or will Klopp avenge his defeat to Emery's then side Sevilla in the Europa League final in six years ago.
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