Liverpool have booked their place in the final of the Europa League after emerging victorious in their semi-final tie against Villarreal.
Jurgen Klopp’s men delivered one of what former captain Phil Thompson calls “those magical, mystical nights at Anfield” to see off Villarreal 3-0 on the night.
An own goal from Bruno Soriano followed by strikes from Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana saw the Reds overturn a first-leg deficit to book a trip to Basel for the final.
The home side needed to win and prevent their opponents from scoring an away goal, and they did so in style.
Marcelino Garcia’s men were never truly in the game and they ended it broken, down to ten men with defender Victor Ruiz sent off for a second yellow card and having never emerged from underneath the relentless pressure applied by Liverpool.
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Liverpool, which has won the competition three times, now goes on to face record four-time champions and holder Sevilla in Basel on May 18 after the Spanish side defeated Shakhtar Donetsk in the other last-four tie.
Unai Emery’s men ran riot in Spain, earning a 3-1 victory, which earned them a third straight Europa League final place.
Speaking after the game, Jurgen Klopp said his side will “take the opportunity” when they play defending champions Sevilla in the final.
“When you perform like we did then you want to have it all and that is what we will try,” said Klopp.
“We will go there and try to do everything for this wonderful club.”
This final will be Liverpool’s first since losing 2-1 to AC Milan in the Champions League final in 2007.
Klopp who took over from Brendan Rodgers in October said: “I don’t know what it means that it is nine years between Liverpool’s last final.
“A lot of teams want to go to finals, it is not too easy, but it is a real opportunity and we will take the opportunity.”
The Reds have won eight of the 11 European finals they have appeared in three Uefa Europa League, should they defeat Sevilla in the final, they will join Unai Emery’s side as the most successful in the competition and earn a place in next season’s Champions League.
The final will take place at St. JaKob-Park in Basel Switzerland on May 18.