ReactionThiago highlights key factors in UCL victory over Villarreal
Thiago Alcantara says the key for Liverpool was to be themselves during their Champions League semi-final first-leg victory over Villarreal.
Liverpool 2-0 Villarreal: Extended highlights
The Reds earned a hard-fought 2-0 win at Anfield on Wednesday night – with the No.6 claiming UEFA’s Player of the Match award on an evening where the hosts dominated the ball.
A deflected Jordan Henderson cross and Sadio Mane close-range effort in the space of just 133 seconds secured the result in L4 during the second half.
Jürgen Klopp's side will take that two-goal cushion to Estadio de la Ceramica next Tuesday, where they will attempt to reach European club football's showpiece in Paris on May 28.
"We have to recognise that we are playing a semi-final of the Champions League against a tough team like Villarreal," Thiago told his post-match press conference.
"We have to have patience but at the end to be ourselves, that's the key.
"I really enjoyed the team performance, that for me is the best thing, because we put our level as high as possible and we delivered today.
"It's not just about patience, we try to figure out where the gaps [are]. We tried in the first half, we created a lot of chances [and] created a lot of opportunities and in the second half it came."
On the second leg next week, he added: "It will be hard there, I know this stadium before because of my time at Barcelona but we don't have time to think about the game there, we have to think about our game at the weekend [against Newcastle United], so that's all for us."
Thiago's post-Villarreal press conference