Gary Lineker says Liverpool fans have Jurgen Klopp to thank for their dramatic turnround against Villarreal tonight. The Reds are into another Champions League final.
Liverpool are into a third UEFA Champions League final in five years – an incredible display of European dominance. They’ve now got a chance to make it two wins in those five years.
They’ll either repeat 2018’s final against Real Madrid or face an English side as in 2019, should Manchester City progress. Liverpool won’t mind either, though, as this side just look unstoppable.
Villarreal did everything they could to slow Liverpool down. They pressed high, showed fantastic energy and picked up two first-half goals. Deservedly so, too.
Things seemed pretty dire at half-time, then. Liverpool just never got going and appeared to be falling to pieces under the pressure. They gave fans plenty of reasons to worry.
But Jurgen Klopp got Liverpool back in the game. He brought on Luis Diaz at half-time, putting Sadio Mané centrally and clearly sending his team out with more aggression for the second half. A 12-minute burst then completely changed the game.
Mohamed Salah assisted Fabinho for the first, Diaz turned home a Trent Alexander-Arnold cross for the second, then Mané got in behind to put away a third. Just like that, the Reds put themselves into the final.
Jurgen Klopp saves Liverpool
Gary Lineker saw an opportunity to praise Klopp for the turnaround, saying the boss ‘sorted it’ when things looked dicey.
“Very considerate of [Liverpool] to make it interesting for us for a while,” he wrote on Twitter. “Klopp, though, sorted it. He’s brilliant.”
Sort it he did. Klopp firmly deserves praise here for fixing things and finding the win. Of course, you can criticise his team selection for that first-half display but it simply didn’t matter in the end. Liverpool got the win over 180 minutes – over 90 minutes, too, in fact – and Klopp’s changes made it happen.
Now onto that Champions League final and who might get the nod for that one.