Europa League: Liverpool win over Villarreal on Thursday (3-0)
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Over the past decade, Liverpool have slid from Europe’s elite into the second tier. But with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Villarreal in the second leg of their Europa League semifinals match-up, they’re just one victory away from next season’s Champions League. It’s only fitting, then, that they’re riding the increasing relevance of Europe’s second-tier competition right back into the continent’s elite.
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Liverpool stand defiant in the face of Spain’s dominance of Europe. The Champions League is destined for Madrid but Jürgen Klopp’s brand of “emotional football” denied La Liga guaranteed success in the Europa League as Villarreal were swatted aside at Anfield. A fourth triumph in the competition and a ticket back to the Champions League will be Liverpool’s should Sevilla fall the same way on 18 May.
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Match details
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Liverpool (4-2-3-1): Mignolet; Clyne, Toure, Lovren, Moreno; Lallana, Can, Milner; Coutinho, Sturridge, Firmino. Subs: Allen/Coutinho 85, Benteke/Firmino 90, Lucas/Sturridge 90 Substitutes not used: Ward (gk), Lucas, Allen, Ibe, Skrtel, Smith.
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Villarreal (4-4-2): Areola; Gaspar, Musacchio, Ruiz, Jaume Costa; Dos Santos, Pina, Sorinao, Suarez; Soldado, Bakambu. Subs: Trigueros/Pina 60, Lopez/Soldado 69 Substitutes not used: Asenjo (gk), Samu, Castillejo, Lopez, Rukavina, Bonera.
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