7 impressive stats from Liverpool’s ridiculously dominant Villarreal win
Liverpool took a giant step towards the Champions League final with a comfortable 2-0 win over Villarreal in the first leg of their semi-final on Wednesday night.
Goals from Jordan Henderson and Sadio Mane eventually sealed victory for Jurgen Klopp’s side after their La Liga opponents had successfully frustrated the quadruple-chasing Reds.
“They are a very organised team and we knew they would make it difficult,” Henderson told BT Sport afterwards.
“It was just important that we kept going and believing that we would eventually break them down. We did that with two good goals.
For the majority of the game, the counter-press was really good. It made it difficult for them. But the game is still alive and it will be tough in Villarreal.”
Liverpool will fancy their chances of retaining their two-goal advantage during next week’s return match in Spain and are strong favourites to face Manchester City or Real Madrid in Paris at the end of May.
We’ve collected seven impressive stats that underline Liverpool’s supremacy on the night.
– After scoring Liverpool’s second on Wednesday night, Mane has equalled the record for most goals (14) scored by an African player in the Champions League knockout rounds, alongside Didier Drogba.
– Thiago Alcantara gave a stunning performance from midfield, making 103 passes (with a 96.3% accuracy) and attempting 34 passes in the final third. No wonder he was awarded Man of the Match by BT Sport.
"This guy, especially in the last month, has come into his own."
"His passing accuracy is staggering."
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 27, 2022
– Another impressive performer was Trent Alexander-Arnold. The England full-back won 100% of his ground duels, made 20 entries into the opposition’s final third and pinged an impressive 15 crosses into the Villarreal box. Menace.
– The Reds restricted Villarreal to just one shot on goal during the 90 minutes at Anfield. It’s hard to see the La Liga side overturning the two-goal deficit in the second leg.
– Ibrahima Konate, who signed for Klopp’s side last summer, made his 23rd Liverpool tonight. He is still yet to lose a game.
– Liverpool have now won more games in the Champions League this season (9) than Everton have won in the Premier League (8).
– And Liverpool are now on the verge of their 10th European Cup/Champions League final appearance, a total that’s five higher than the next English side (Manchester United).