Liverpool v Villarreal: Live matchday blog
Liverpool are through to the Europa League final after beating Villarreal 3-0 at Anfield on Thursday night. The Reds will meet Sevilla in Basel, Switzerland on May 18.
Klopp gets the last word
We'll wrap up a memorable night with these words from Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp.
"To go to a final you need a little bit of luck in decisive moments. But most of the time you need outstanding performances."
Couldn't have said it better ourselves. To read his full post-match reaction, click here.
Watch Jürgen lead the full-time celebrations in our free clip below...
Europa League final ticket details
The club have released information regarding ticket sales for the final. Click here to read them.
So, how do you begin to sum a night like that up?
Liverpoolfc.com's David Lynch had a go. Read his on-the-whistle match report by clicking here.
Here are all your stats from a magnificent night's work from Liverpool at Anfield...
So, to Basel...
Liverpool will face Sevilla in Basel on May 18 in the Europa League final.
The La Liga side beat Shakhtar Donetsk 3-1 tonight to seal a 5-3 aggregate win.
FULL-TIME: LIVERPOOL THROUGH TO EUROPA LEAGUE FINAL
There goes the final whistle and Liverpool are through to the Europa League final after a 3-0 victory over Villarreal at Anfield secures a 3-1 aggregate success.
Adam Lallana wants another here. He smashes one toward goal and Areola needs to turn it around the post.
The Reds' final change of the night sees Lucas Leiva come on for Daniel Sturridge.
Liverpool's second change of the night: Christian Benteke on for the outstanding Roberto Firmino.
Another Liverpool sub - Joe Allen is on for Philippe Coutinho.
Goal for Liverpool - Adam Lallana!
And that could be the tie for Liverpool. Roberto Firmino does brilliantly down the left to surge into the area. He fires a cross in that causes panic inside the area. Daniel Sturridge nudges it towards goal before Lallana applies the final touch by hooking it over the line.
A world-class touch from Sturridge sees him take control of the ball on the corner of the area. He twists one way and then the other before striking over the bar.
Firmino collects the ball on the edge of the area and smacks one towards the top corner. Saved by Areola.
Villarreal make their final change and Daniele Bonera is on for Jonathan Dos Santos.
Villarreal are down to 10 men as Victor Ruiz picks up his second yellow card of the night following a challenge on Adam Lallana.
So, as it stands heading into the final 20 minutes, we cannot go to extra-time this evening.
If the score stays the same, Liverpool will book a place in the Europa League final; however, a strike for Villarreal would mean the Reds need one more goal to grab a ticket to Basel.
Villarreal make thier second change as Adrian Lopez, last week's match winner, is on for Roberto Soldado.
And Liverpool are in front on aggregate!
Roberto Firmino's attempted half-volley on the edge of the box rolls through for Daniel Sturridge, who is onside, and he finds the net via the near post.
It means the Reds now lead the tie 2-1 overall.
Villarreal make a change - Pina is off and Trigueros is on for the La Liga side.
Watch Anfield's touching pre-match tribute to the 96 in our video below...
Soldado gets his head to the ball from Dos Santos' free-kick into the Reds box, but he directs it off target.
Strikes on goal in quick succession for Sturridge and then Can, but neither have the power nor placement to find the net.
Liverpool are piling on the pressure, however.
Firmino's pass finds Milner's run into the area, but the skipper can't get anything other than a toe to the ball and it's an easy take for Areola.
Coutinho twists into space inside the box from a short-corner routine, but sees his near-post blast punched away by Areola.
Villarreal get us back underway at Anfield.
Villarreal get us back underway at Anfield.
So far, so good for the Reds at the halfway point as Bruno Soriano's early own goal gives them a 1-0 lead.
Still work to be done in the second period, but the hosts have been dominant so far.
Half chance for Villarreal as Bakambu gets the wrong side of Lovren, but he can't connect properly and the ball rolls tamely into Mignolet's gloves.
Now Roberto Soldado is shown a yellow for a late challenge on Coutinho.
Nice shot of the opening goal celebrations from club snapper, John Powell.
Nathaniel Clyne is shown a yellow card.
Lovren meets Milner's corner from the right with a standing header, but it's straight into the arms of Areola.
Victor Ruiz sees yellow for remonstrating with the referee.
Liverpool go close again as Can's header from Milner's corner hits a defender and sneaks just wide of the far post.
As it stands, the current scoreline is the only one that can take us to extra-time tonight. A Villarreal goal would leave the Reds needing to score two more.
Do you think Jürgen enjoyed that opening goal?
Wow. So close to 2-0 to the Reds.
Milner visably spots Lallana's run across the box and whips in a low delivery from the right. Lallana gets a touch on it, but it rolls the wrong side of the far post.
Incredible start from Liverpool here, though.
The start we all wanted! Liverpool are in front!
Nathaniel Clyne's driven cross is flicked away by the glove of Areola, but only into the path of Roberto Firmino. He fires it back across goal, Daniel Sturridge gets a touch and it ends up in the net via a touch off Bruno Soriano.
Two good chances in quick succession for the visitors. First, Gaspar forces Mignolet into a flying low save as he meets the ball on the half-volley. Seconds later, Dos Santos curls over the bar when well placed.
There's a very familiar face in the Anfield directors' box tonight - Dirk Kuyt.
He was most certainly the man for the big occasion, let's hope he's something of a lucky charm tonight.
Here we go, then. Liverpool kick the game off and will attack the Kop in the first half.
Come on you Reds!
Anfield forms a mosaic across the Anfield Road, Centenary Stand and Kop in tribute to the 96 supporters who lost their lives at Hillsborough, while a choir sings You'll Never Walk Alone.
Don't forget, there are multiple ways to follow tonight's game on Liverpoolfc.com - including free live audio commentary from Anfield by clicking here.
Why not pop it open in another tab and keep this page open to read our musings from the Main Stand press box?
Here come the Reds...
And the opposition...
Here’s how Villarreal will line-up tonight: Areola, Mario Gaspar, Musacchio, Victor Ruiz, Jaume Costa, Pina, Dos Santos, Suarez, Bruno Soriano, Soldado, Bakambu.
Subs: Asenjo, Rukavina, Bonera, Samu, Castillejo, Trigueros, Adrian Lopez.
What a welcome on Anfield Road for the two teams..
A peak inside the Reds' dressing room
Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Toure, Lovren, Moreno, Can, Milner, Lallana, Firmino, Coutinho, Sturridge.
Subs: Ward, Benteke, Lucas, Allen, Skrtel, Ibe, Smith.
Goals, goals, goals
Watch our free video below to relive 19 classic Liverpool European semi-final strikes at Anfield...
An exclusive chat with the boss
LFCTV GO subscribers can get ready for tonight's clash by watching our pre-match interview with Jürgen Klopp by clicking play on the video below.
Tributes have been laid at the Hillsborough memorial at Anfield ahead of kick-off.
Tonight is, of course, the first Liverpool home game since the jury on the inquests into the disaster issued their landmark determinations on April 26.
The stage is set
Here's the current scene inside Anfield, just under three hours till kick-off. The pre-match mosaic has been laid out across the Kop, Centenary Stand and Anfield Road ahead of being raised by supporters prior to the first whistle.
There's certainly a feeling in the air that we've got a big night ahead of us... Let's just hope it goes in our of favour.
And here's a reminder of the stats from last week's first-leg meeting in Spain...
FOUR HOURS TO GO KLAXON
Excited? Nervous? Both?
Tale of the tape...
Here's how the two teams compare in the Europa League so far this season.
This Is Anfield
And if you want to get your hands on copy of that matchday programme later, this is what you're looking for outside the ground.
Look who's back
There's a non-Villarreal related section of Jürgen Klopp's programme notes this evening that we think is well worth a look.
Danny Ings is back in training and, unsurprisingly, the boss is happy about it. Read more here.
Yellow Submarine at the home of The Beatles
Our roving reporter Glenn Price has been pounding the pavements of Liverpool to bring you these action snaps of Villarreal supporters in the city centre ahead of tonight's game.
Behind the scenes at Melwood
The Reds warmed up for tonight's game with a training session yesterday and there was the welcome sight of both Danny Ings and Emre Can back in action at Melwood.
See Jürgen Klopp putting his charges through their paces by clicking the picture below to check out our gallery.
No fear for Marcelino
Villarreal's manager has insisted at his pre-match press conference that his team won't be cowed by the atmosphere at Anfield this evening. Sounds like a challenge to me!
He said: "This is an occasion to be celebrated. In no way whatsoever will we be affected negatively by the atmosphere, if anything we will be affected positively and galvanised by it.
"We will suffer at moments in the game, we will find it tough but we can cause them trouble. The game will be decided by the team who are more assured at key moments in the game."
Did you know?
Down the years, Liverpool have won 89 per cent of their second-leg games in semi-finals at home.
Goals, goals, goals
I don't think there's a better way to get in the mood for tonight than this.
LFCTV GO have put together a brilliant free clip of 19 famous European semi-final goals scored at Anfield, which you can watch by clicking here.
Can't wait for tonight, now.
Give the people what they want
If you've been worrying about when the weather update is going to drop in then let us ease your fears.
It's currently a gorgeous 17 degrees celsius in Liverpool and the sun is shining brightly. We'll be looking at temperatures of around 12 degrees come kick-off, which some would say means you could get away without a coat (e.g LFC website news editor Chris Shaw).
We'll let you make your own minds up on that one, though!
Lovren calls for patience
Liverpool fans will be desperate to see their team overturn their one-goal deficit as quickly as possible this evening, but Dejan Lovren is calm about the whole thing.
He doesn't want to see a rushed approach cost the Reds - read more here.
Jürgen has his say
We spoke exclusively to the manager ahead of tonight's tie, and he was keen to state just how important the Anfield crowd can be.
"Normally the games start in the stadium, but this game [against Dortmund] started in front of the stadium. It was great to see, wonderful to feel and pretty, pretty special.
"Why shouldn’t we [all] expect another night like this? There is no reason for this. Only because we had it a couple of weeks ago? That makes no sense - it’s possible."
Good morning and welcome to our live matchday blog for Liverpool's huge Europa League semi-final, second-leg meeting with Villarreal.
The Spaniards hold a 1-0 aggregate lead but, with Anfield behind the Reds, anything is possible.
Stick with us as we build-up towards a huge, huge, huge game. Come on, Liverpool!