Etienne Capoue could only laugh as he reflected on the intensity of Liverpool’s pressing against Villarreal.
Speaking via LiveScore on Twitter after the game on Wednesday, Capoue gave a remarkably honest interview.
Reminded that he had called Anfield ‘hell’ before his team’s visit mid-week, the Frenchman said Liverpool’s performance had proved his point.
“Did I lie?” Capoue chuckled. “I know this atmosphere here, I know this team and they showed it again tonight.”
Asked about how he felt whilst facing Liverpool’s relentless pressing, the former Watford man used a colourful analogy.
“It’s like sheep around the wolves,” he said. “It was really hard tonight, it was really hard.”
Like wolves, The Reds smelled blood with Villarreal consistently trying to play it out from the back. As they tend to do, Jurgen Klopp’s men hunted the ball down until Capoue and co had to give it up.
Stop the press
Liverpool’s game against Villarreal on Wednesday was their 55th of a mammoth season. By the way they closed their opponents down so quickly, you’d never have known it.
Playing against what many perceived to be a weaker side, Liverpool could have perhaps taken their foot off the gas and attempted to cruise into the Champions League final.
That isn’t this team’s way, though. They were never going to fall into the kind of trap that Juventus and Bayern Munich walked right into.
Instead, it’s possible that Villarreal were even counting on Liverpool being a little complacent. Despite Capoue’s pre-match words and the fact that The Reds are well known to be one of the best pressing sides on the planet, they looked somewhat surprised by the ferocity of the press.
In that respect, they were lucky to escape with the deficit only at two ahead of the second-leg.
The tie isn’t finished just yet and Liverpool will have to use all their experience to ensure they see the game through in Spain.
If Unai Emery is expecting Liverpool to go easy and sit on their lead though, they’ve got another surprise coming their way next week.