Villarreal crest

Adrian Lopez (90+2)

1 - 0
UEFA Europa League
20:05 Thu 28th Apr 2016
Location: El Madrigal
Liverpool FC crest
Liverpool FC

20:05 Thu 28th Apr 2016
20:05 Thu 28th Apr 2016 El Madrigal

Villarreal v Liverpool: Live matchday blog

Liverpool lost the first leg of their Europa League semi-final with Villarreal 1-0 in Spain on Thursday - scroll down to recap how the game unfolded in our blog, and click the links below for more.

That's all from our coverage today - thanks for following the first leg against Villarreal with us.

Nothing is decided until next week's return match at Anfield, of course, though the Reds first travel to Swansea City on Sunday in the Barclays Premier League.

Join us then for build-up, updates and reaction at the Liberty Stadium.

Jürgen Klopp: It's not over

The manager remained optimistic after the late defeat in Spain, insisting that his team can turn the semi-final tie around next week at Anfield. Click here to read his post-match thoughts in full.

Full Time

Villarreal 1-0 Liverpool

A harsh end for Jürgen Klopp's men, who succumb to a single-goal defeat in Spain, but all is still to play for in the second leg at Anfield next Thursday night.



Villarreal grab a cruel late goal as Denis Suarez sneaks in behind and rolls across the area for Adrian Lopez to tap into an empty net and secure a victory for the hosts.


Three minutes of stoppage-time to be played...



Christian Benteke replaces Roberto Firmino for the final minutes.


Now drama at the other end, Alberto Moreno racing clear and into an area where he can either shoot or square for Jordon Ibe - he opts for the strike and crashes it too high.


Superb save!

Simon Mignolet preserves Liverpool's clean sheet with an outstanding reaction, pushing away a side-footer from Cedric Bakambu after the striker surged forward through the middle.


Jordon Ibe forges room along the left side to clip a cross to the back post and Nathaniel Clyne nods well wide under pressure.


We're heading into the final stages at El Madrigal and it remains goalless. Still time for the Reds to secure an away goal but they are on course for a positive result as it stands.



And a final, enforced switch for Villarreal - a knock means Eric Bailly goes off, Mateo Musacchio on.



And another home change - Adrian Lopez comes on for Roberto Soldado.



Samu Castillejo is on for Jonathan dos Santos.

The boss urges his team on...



It's the closest Liverpool have come as James Milner finds Roberto Firmino with a brilliant through pass, and the Brazilian's low drive on the turn is tipped against the post and out by the goalkeeper.


Yellow Card

Juame Costa receives a booking for a foul on Nathaniel Clyne.


Neat interplay between James Milner and Jordon Ibe presents the captain with a shooting chance but it takes a deflection and drifts away.


Close for Cedric Bakambu from a corner, but his flicked header at the near post clips the outside of the woodwork and goes wide.



We're back underway in Spain.



Half-time switch for Liverpool as Jordon Ibe replaces Philippe Coutinho.

Half Time

Villarreal 0-0 Liverpool

It has been an enjoyable watch in the opening 45 minutes but neither side has managed to break the deadlock at El Madrigal.


Hearts in mouths.

Roberto Soldado sends a curving shot towards the right corner from the D and it looks like it could be nestling past Simon Mignolet but - thankfully - lands wide.


Adam Lallana neatly holds up a cross into the box and manages to set up Philippe Coutinho for a strike that is understandably off target given the awkward height of the ball.


Now attentive defending from Dejan Lovren to track the in-form Cedric Bakambu after a ball over the top released the striker. The Reds tidy up and get going in the other direction.


The Reds were living dangerously there and only a sliding block by Kolo Toure and a last-ditch challenge by Alberto Moreno prevented Mario Gaspar from causing real trouble.


Philippe Coutinho shuffles into shooting space in trademark fashion from around 20 yards but the No.10 can only find the crowd with his rising effort.


Jonathan dos Santos requires treatment following a collision with Alberto Moreno, though the midfielder seems fine to continue.


Another switch in flow and another shot from the Yellow Submarine, with Simon Mignolet forced into a smart stop to his left from Tomas Pina's low curler at the edge of the area.

A touch of class from Villarreal


It's an entertaining start here and now at the other end, Roberto Soldado gets free of Alberto Moreno at the back post from a free-kick, only to drag a half-volley wide of the opposite post.


The Reds should be ahead. Adam Lallana has time to produce a cross on the right hand side and it's a great knock into the middle for an unmarked Joe Allen, whose low strike is straight at the 'keeper.


An early hint of an opening for Villarreal as space opened up just outside the area, but Alberto Moreno recovered from the left flank to clear the danger.



Here we go - come on, Reds!

The two teams are out at El Madrigal and we're moments away from kick-off. These nights really are special.

It's almost time...

El Madrigal has filled up quite nice and there are around 2,000 Liverpool fans are housed in the top tier away to our left from the press box.

How are the nerves?

Eyes on the prize...

The Reds are here...

...and checking out the El Madrigal pitch.


Starting XI: Mignolet, Clyne, Toure, Lovren, Moreno, Lucas, Allen, Milner, Lallana, Coutinho, Firmino.

Substitutes: Ward, Skrtel, Smith, Chirivella, Ibe, Sturridge, Benteke.

Team news is imminent...

Stay tuned to the blog and at 6.50pm BST.

It's almost time...

Here’s the current scene inside El Madrigal as the final preparations are put in place ahead of tonight’s game. It’s fairly quiet inside for the moment, but the echoes of Reds fans singing outside can be heard!


Colours on show already...


Take a closer look at the facts and figures behind each side's run to the semi-finals with our Opta stats comparison...


Notes on Villarreal's recent form...

  • The Yellow Submarine are currently fourth in La Liga, trailing only Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid in the table
  • They have not won in their past three matches, however, losing twice and drawing 0-0 with Real Sociedad in their most recent game
  • They have knocked out Napoli, Bayer Leverkusen and Sparta Prague to reach the semi-finals of this competition

Did you know these 10 stats?

Club statistician Ged Rea kindly scoured the history books to come up with 10 interesting facts about tonight's game, which you can read by clicking here.

How many were you aware of?



Whether you are going to the game or not, we know you appreciate our weather updates.

It's 16 degrees in Villarreal currently and the temperature is expected to drop slightly by the time of kick-off. There is light rain, though - rather like Liverpool this morning.


The Reds acclimatised to El Madrigal with a training session there on Wednesday evening - and our photographers were there to snap these pictures.


If you're wondering where Klopp learned Scouse, this video might help...


'We'll need you to give it bifters!'

Another week and another enthralling chat with Jürgen Klopp on The manager dipped into his Scouse vocabulary to explain why Liverpool will need the fans if they are to beat Villarreal over two legs.

Click the picture to read our interview with the boss.


El Madrigal

Here's how the stadium was looking on the eve of the tie...


Good morning and welcome to our matchday blog for Liverpool's clash with Villarreal this evening, the first leg of an exciting Europa League semi-final.

The team flew out to Spain on Wednesday afternoon ahead of the tie at El Madrigal, and we are with them every step of the way as they try to move closer towards the final in Basel.

So stay right here throughout the day for all of the build-up, before we bring you the action as it happens and then the post-match reaction too.