Liverpool were two goals down at half-time to beat Villarreal in the second half of the Champions League second leg and reach the final of the competition
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The Reds arrived in Spain with one 2-0 overall lead from the first leg, however, this quickly disappeared again villa real produced a stunning blitz in the first half. However, Fabinho restored the visitors’ lead in the 62nd minute and substitute Luis Diaz doubled the lead before Sadio Mane ensured Liverpool will play at the Stade de France on 28 May.
It was a truly epic comeback for Klopp’s side who have shown character and guts on many European nights in recent years. The performance of the German coach in the second half left no doubt that the nickname “mentality monster” coined many years ago is still relevant.
“Before the game I told the lads I wanted to read the headline that the mentality monsters are in town but just to show we tried to win the game from the start,” said Klopp after the game in front of reporters. “But now the headline was like that because you could see the pressure we were under in the first half and coming back in the second half after what felt like 500 games the lads played.
“It’s so special. I don’t know what Spain would be like – maybe mentalidad monstruosa – but we were in the second half.” Opening up on his decision to substitute Diaz for Diogo Jota at half-time, Klopp was keen to highlight that Liverpool’s first-half problems ran far deeper than the withdrawn Portuguese striker.
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“A massive impact but I don’t like that because the next story is Diogo Jota was the problem,” Klopp told BT Sport of Diaz’s impact on the game. “Not true. We had 11 problems in the first half but we needed fresh legs. I wanted Mo (Salah) and Sadio (Mane) high and wide but not in open game situations.
“We weren’t ourselves, but we were in the end. Luis, what a goal. He could have scored with the overhead kick if he had but what a performance from him.” Klopp also explained it feels like his “first final”, despite having previously reached the Champions League showpiece twice with Liverpool and once previously with Borussia Dortmund.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/liverpool-champions-league-final-klopp-26864952 Jurgen Klopp reiterates the old Liverpool nickname after his epic comeback at Villarreal