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A deflected Jordan Henderson effort and a Sadio Mane strike helped Liverpool to a dominant 2-0 victory over Villarreal within the Champions League semifinal first leg at Anfield on Wednesday.
The Spanish aspect had been resolute within the first half however got here unstuck within the second as Henderson’s deflected cross soared over goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli — later dominated a Pervis Estupinan personal purpose — earlier than Mane poked dwelling shortly after.
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Villarreal have loved a exceptional run within the knockout levels of this 12 months’s competitors — they shocked giants Juventus and Bayern Munich within the earlier two rounds — however Jurgen Klopp’s staff had been hardly ever troubled as they dispatched the Spanish aspect to take a significant step in the direction of the ultimate.
Liverpool, who received the competitors in 2019, are trying to achieve their third Champions League closing in 5 years.
Mane loved the most effective likelihood in an uneventful first half performed principally in Villarreal’s half. The 30-year-old ahead darted into the penalty space as Mohamed Salah delivered a floated cross towards the six-yard field, however Mane couldn’t discover the proper contact to information a header in the direction of purpose.
Liverpool thought they’d damaged the impasse on 50 minutes when Fabinho put the ball behind the web, however defender Virgil van Dijk was dominated to be offside when he headed to arrange the midfielder.
Klopp’s aspect remained in management and had been dutifully rewarded as Henderson created the breakthrough on 53 minutes. The midfielder struck what a cross from close to the proper nook flag, seeing it take a lucky deflection off Estupinan earlier than looping into the again of the web.
Mane doubled the lead simply two minutes later with a prodded end after Salah rolled the ball into his path contained in the field.
Villarreal didn’t handle a single shot heading in the right direction as they struggled to make their mark.
The 2 sides will meet once more within the return leg on the Estadio de la Ceramica on Could 3.
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