There were no fist pumps from Jurgen Klopp after Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Villarreal as he said “it’s only half time” despite his team holding a huge advantage.
After a goalless opening half in the Champions League semi-final first leg, Pervis Estupinan’s 53rd-minute own goal brought the breakthrough before Sadio Mane added a second just two minutes later to hammer home the advantage.
Speaking afterwards, Klopp was pleased with the performance of his players. “The way we played, the way we defended very well, the way we attacked very well. We had to score goals. It was clear we had to keep going.
“Villarreal, in one moment, when they can get out of the press, they are immediately a threat. If we don’t win the ball there, we are in between everything. We did that well most of the time.”
His mood was anything but triumphant though with the Liverpool boss aware there is another 90 minutes in Spain to come.
“Two-nil on aggregate but it is half time. No more, no less.
“Nothing has happened yet. If you play a game and are 2-0 at half time, you have to be 100 per cent on alert. We know we will go there and it will be a tricky atmosphere for us. If they beat us 2-0 over there and go to the final they deserve it.
“If they don’t, we deserve it.”
Emery: Liverpool will suffer more in Spain
Villarreal boss Unai Emery, whose only victory in seven attempts over Klopp came when he was in charge of Sevilla for the 2016 Europa League final, admitted his side escaped with a two-goal defeat but feels the second leg will see Liverpool put under more pressure .
He said: “We can’t tell nothing about the victory because they deserve it. The first half for us was really good.
“They had two or three chances to score. But the second half was the same and they pushed and they deserved to score. 2-0 is a good difference for them. For us it’s not a good result but we are going to dream to do something in our home with our supporters. The match next week will be very different to tonight’s.
“It’s very important to change something next week in our home, maybe tactically. I think they are going to suffer more next week in our home.”
Liverpool’s remaining fixtures
April 30 – Newcastle United (a)
May 3 – Villarreal (a), Champions League semi-final second leg
May 7 – Tottenham (h)
May 10 – Aston Villa (a), live on Sky Sports
May 14 – Chelsea (n), FA Cup final
May 17 – Southampton (a), live on Sky Sports
May 22 – Wolves (h)