While Liverpool are the clear favourites to make it to the final, Villarreal boss Emery believes that the Spanish team will play for a win and not just pride. Jurgen Klopp’s men took 19 shots against Villarreal in the first leg, the La Liga club could only respond with one.
The goals came early in the second half as Villarreal left back Pervis Estupinan unwittingly deflected a cross by Jordan Henderson into his own net in the 53rd minute, with goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli only managing to tip a looping ball into his own net. Sadio Mane, 133 seconds later, ran onto Mohamed Salah’s through-ball and toe-poked a low finish beyond Rulli.
Emery, however, believes that Villarreal can put a halt to Liverpool’s quadraple dreams. The Anfield camp is eyeing to get into the third Champions League final in five years.
“In the first leg, they were better but tomorrow we are not just playing for pride, we are playing to win. Liverpool this season have not lost a game by more than two goals so we will have to play a perfect match, to be outstanding in everything we do. We’ll have to find more of their weaknesses,” Emery said in a press conference.
Emery’s men won the Europa League last season. They are seventh in La Liga and hope to script a dream run in Champions League.
“There are several things that change from the first leg. Coming back from 2-0 is very difficult but it benefits us that away goals don’t count for double. It’s like a normal game. And the home advantage was very important there at Anfield. Here, at our own stadium, we want that too,” the manager added.
Striker Gerard Moreno missed Villarreal’s first leg game due to injury. The Spaniard trained with the squad on Monday.