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'Playing the best': Former Liverpool man who Klopp told to leave defends Villarreal's display at Anfield

Former Liverpool midfielder Pedro Chirivella has defended Villarreal’s performance at Anfield last night.

The Yellow Submarine managed just a single shot throughout the 90 minutes against The Reds. This led to some over-the-top claims on TalkSPORT that Unai Emery’s team were ‘a disgrace’ to the Champions League.

But taking to Twitter, Chirivella defended the Spanish club.

“I really don’t think a disgraceful team beats Arsenal United Bayern and Juve in the space of a year,” wrote the 24-year-old.

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“Also, I don’t think a pathetic team wins the Europa League last season, they are playing the best team in Europe at the moment. Every team going to Anfield are having a tough game.”

Well said Pedro. Villarreal may have hoped to have been a little more adventurous against Liverpool, but Jurgen Klopp’s side pressed them relentlessly to leave them clinging to the tie.

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Chirivella the cult hero

By the time he left the club in 2020, Chirivella had been at Anfield for seven years. Despite making just 11 appearances in that time, he became something of a cult hero at the club, even captaining a young side in the Carabao Cup in 2019.

When given the chance for Liverpool he looked tidy in possession and sharp in the tackle.

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According to the Liverpool Echo, he was offered a five-year deal at the end of the 19/20 season. But with an offer from French club Nantes also on the table, the Spaniard chose to pursue his career in Ligue 1 instead.

Taking Jurgen’s advice

Speaking to So Foot last November, Chirivella recalled that Klopp encouraged him to leave the club for more first-team opportunities.

“When Nantes came, Christian Gourcuff spoke to me. He gave me a lot of confidence. When I spoke to Klopp about this possibility, he told me to go for it, that Ligue 1 had great potential for the future,” he said. 

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It proved to be a good call. Chirivella has played almost 70 times for Nantes since the beginning of last season. This time around he has started 30 of their 34 Ligue 1 games.

Still aged just twenty-four, there remains a possibility that he could play at a higher level in the future.

Judging by his comments today, he still keeps an eye on goings on at Anfield and, just like the rest of us, thinks Jurgen’s Reds are one of the best teams around.

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