Villarreal kept their door shut in the first half. But Liverpool reaped the rewards for their persistent pressing and scored twice in the second half.
As both of their goals went unanswered, Liverpool will take a healthy two-goal cushion to Estadio de la Ceramica next week.
Here are three things we learned from the clash between the two sides at Anfield:
1. Juan Foyth Has Overcome His Tottenham Struggles
Juan Foyth used to be a Tottenham player, but the Argentine failed to flourish in North London.
He subsequently moved to Villarreal and got the opportunity to work under a man seeking post-Premier League redemption as well; Unai Emery.
Foyth has become one of the mainstays in the Villareal starting XI.
Last night, he contained the threat of Luis Diaz and showed how mature he has become since he departed from Spurs in 2020.
Tottenham are on the lookout for a new defender next summer.
Watching Foyth keep Liverpool attackers at bay would undoubtedly make them regret their decision to sell him.
2. Man Management Will Be Crucial For Klopp In Coming Weeks
Assuming Liverpool go through to the final, they will play nine matches over the next 30 days.
The Reds are alive in all competitions they are participating in. Jurgen Klopp will have to ensure all his key players remain fit to pull off a historical quadruple win.
Therefore, he needs to rotate his players and manage their minutes wisely.
But it will be no walk in the park.
Sadio Mane and Trent Alexander-Arnold made little effort to hide their anger after they were substituted last night.
Once cooler heads prevail, they should realize that it was the sensible thing to do.
If they don’t, however, it will make the dressing room atmosphere uncomfortable.
Klopp would not want such a distraction before the decisive final weeks. So, he has to find a way to keep his players happy and focused.
3. Liverpool Are In The Most Comfortable Position To Go Through
After the first leg of both semifinals, it’s Liverpool who are in the most comfortable position to make it to the final.
In the first semifinal, Manchester City picked up a 4-3 win over Real Madrid.
But the Citizens are ruing their wastefulness.
Had they been more clinical, they could have put the game to bed.
But, they allowed Madrid a lifeline by not taking their chances and letting their lead shrink to the narrowest margin.
4. Emery’s 4-4-2 Made Liverpool Work Hard
Unai Emery deployed a 4-4-2 to neutralize the attacking threat of Jurgen Klopp’s 4-3-3. In the first half, Villarreal successfully sat deep and frustrated Liverpool.
The front two of Arnaut Danjuma and Samuel Chukwueze often dropped down and made the midfield denser for Liverpool to get through.
But they could not cope with the individual brilliance of Liverpool players in the end.