Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool won’t make same mistake as Bayern Munich against Villarreal
Villarreal will reach their first-ever Champions League final if they can defeat six-time winners Liverpool with the first leg at Anfield on Wednesday.
Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool will not underestimate Villarreal in their Champions League semi-final before the first leg at Anfield on Wednesday night.
The Reds face the Spanish minnows in the last four of the illustrious competition. Villarreal have never reached the Champions League final before but beat Bayern Munich and Juventus to set up a two-legged tie with Liverpool.
Villarreal boss Unai Emery has also beaten Klopp’s side in Europe before, leading Sevilla to victory in the Europa League final in 2016. Emery’s Villarreal are the defending champions of this competition after beating Manchester United in the final last May.
“We have analyzed Villarreal correctly,” Klopp said at a press conference on Tuesday. “I have the necessary respect for Unai and them. I watched them properly and wow! Impressive. He is a detail obsessed manager. Different ways to press and react to different results.
“A world-class coach doing an amazing job…there might have been a slight advantage [for Villarreal] where Juve or Bayern may have underestimated them, but that won’t happen with us. They want to be in the final but it’s the same importance for us.
“They are 7th in La Liga. After winning the quarter-final with Bayern, they played in Bilbao and Unai changed 11 times. Spain are obviously competitive. It’s a difficult league to succeed in, but Unai shows that he has a plan for every result 1-0 up, 1-0 down, etc.”
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Klopp continued: “There are times when we are going to suffer and I know that. We don’t need to be nervous but we can make them suffer too. We will work with our result and fight at Villarreal because that means everything.”
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson added: “They’re a very good team. They’ve beaten Juve and Bayern and have an experienced manager. So it’s a really tough test, as any other team would be. Champions League semi-final. We have to be at our best.” .”
Liverpool are aiming to become the first English team in history to win the treble. They have already won the EFL Cup and reached the FA Cup final. The Reds are currently second in the Premier League, one point behind champions Manchester City.
“For us, the motivation is just to win,” Henderson said. “We have to win every game, no matter who it is against. We have to focus on that. We don’t get carried away and give our all. It’s boring but we’ve been doing it all season. What we’ll do in the next few weeks too.”
The Liverpool skipper went on to say: “What we have achieved so far over the past few years and the way we have responded to last year is very special in itself, but there is still a long way to go. I know how quickly football can change so it’s all about staying focused.”
On the atmosphere at Anfield, Henderson said: “Anfield is always special on European nights. I hope that will be the case tomorrow. We have to perform to the level we are capable of. The crowd will be there so we will have to be as .”