“We delivered today” – Liverpool star Thiago Alcantara opens up on key factors in Villareal win

Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara explained that the Reds played at a high level and delivered an impressive performance against a dogged Villarreal side in the Champions League.

Jurgen Klopp’s side created several openings in the first half but lacked the finishing touch as the two teams headed into half-time with the score at 0-0.

The Merseyside outfit raised their level in the second half and scored two goals in two minutes put them in control of the tie.

Thiago put in another masterclass in midfield as he recycled possession well and often found his teammates with some stunning diagonal passes.

The Spaniard could have scored with a breathtaking long range effort that hit the post in the first half.

Thiago said in the post-match press conference:

“We have to recognise that we are playing a semi-final of the Champions League against a tough team like Villarreal. 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.”

He added:

“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.”

Liverpool will hope to avoid complacency in the second leg

Villarreal will hope to do to Liverpool what the Reds have done to so many teams over the years in the Champions League.

The Merseyside outfit are known for their incredible comebacks on the European stage, but will have to be wary in the return leg at the Estadio de la Cerámica.

Unai Emery’s side dominated Bayern Munich in their last Champions League home game and have the players to trouble Liverpool’s high defensive line.

🗣 “We know we go there and it will be a tricky atmosphere for us and different from tonight.”

Regardless of the opposition, Klopp’s side do not change their style, so if Villarreal can get in behind the Reds’ defense, they will have their opportunities.

The Reds have managed to rotate their squad well in recent weeks, but the inevitable tiredness is bound to creep in.

They have not been convincing in the second leg of their previous knockout games, so they can ill-afford to rest on their laurels come next week.

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