Liverpool to face Sevilla in final

Liverpool to face Sevilla in final

Liverpool swept 10-man Villarreal aside on Thursday night to set up a Europa League final against Sevilla.

 

Liverpool to face Sevilla in final

Liverpool players celebrate victory against Villarreal

Villarreal are not the first side to succumb to the almost magical powers of the famous old ground and they will probably not be the last.

But having arrived with a reputation for defensive discipline they were overcome in this Europa League semi-final second leg by whirling dervishes with a renewed hunger for silverware and a wall of noise rolling down off the Kop.

Bruno's early own goal settled the nerves before Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana scored after the break to seal a 3-0 victory on the night - 3-1 on aggregatte - with Villarreal's Victor Ruiz needlessly sent off with the score still finely balanced at 2-0, when an away goal would have turned it in the visitors' favour.

A banner on the Kop simply reads 'European Elite', and while this competition may not be where a club of Liverpool's history are used to playing, it offers a path back to the big time with a win in Basle later this month - in addition to a trophy. The opponents there will be Sevilla, who beat Shakhtar Donetsk 3-1 to secure a 5-3 aggregate triumph.

Liverpool had never lost any of their nine previous semi-final second legs at home, and this was no different with fans lining the streets in their thousands to welcome the team before kick-off and making a significant contribution inside.

Manager Jurgen Klopp, whose influence on this run to the final cannot be under-estimated, had warned fans not to expect a repeat of the Dortmund quarter-final performance but whereas then they had finished with a rampaging final 20 minutes Liverpool were out of the blocks quickly this time.

Credit: UEFA.com

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