Liverpool survived Villarreal’s scare to move into the Champions League final and keep their hopes of winning an unprecedented quadruple alive.
Liverpool won 2-0 in the first leg but that advantage was wiped out after only 41 minutes at a noisy and passionate El Madrigal as the Spanish side pushed for a huge upset.
Boulaye Dia scored Villarreal’s first after only three minutes, converting Etienne Capoue’s pass before ex-Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin headed in a second from another Capoue cross as the Reds looked rattled.
Liverpool had to improve in the second half and Fabinho put them back in front on aggregate with a shot that went through the legs of Villarreal goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli in the 62nd minute.
Luis Diaz, whose introduction at halftime changed the game after he replaced Diogo Jota, restored Liverpool’s two-goal aggregate advantage with a header at the back post.
Sadio Mane secured Liverpool’s place in their third Champions League final in five seasons with a third goal after taking the ball around Rulli. Villarreal ended the game with 10 men with Capoue sent off late on for two bookable offences.
10 – Liverpool have become just the fourth team to reach as many as 10 European Cup/Champions League finals, after Real Madrid (16), AC Milan (11) and Bayern Munich (11). Elite
Liverpool will play either Manchester City or Real Madrid in the Champions League final at the Stade de France in Paris on Saturday, 25 May.