A late goal by Adrian Lopez was enough to give the Villareal a 1-0 victory over Liverpool in the Europa League first leg semi-final on Thursday night.
The victory put the Yellow Submarines on the verge of reaching their first ever Cup final after landing a shock defeat in stoppage time to Jurgen Klopp’s men at El Madrigal.
A very tight encounter, with little chances created, saw Roberto Firmino hit the woodwork, early in the second half before Lopez broke the deadlock at the death.
Liverpool left-back Alberto Moreno, was out of position leaving Kolo Toure exposed, and was caught by Bruno’s chipped pass to Dennis Suarez, who unselfishly picked out Lopez to slot home from close range.
The Mersey siders’ manager, Jurgen Klopp was disappointed with the manner in which his side conceded the goal, he however took plenty of positives from the game and is optimistic his side can turn things around in next week’s return leg at Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool Manager / CREDIT: DailyMail
“I’m of course not too happy with the goal we conceded in the last second or something,” Klopp told BT Sport.
“A counter-attack in the 92nd minute makes not too much sense to be honest.
“It’s only the first leg. We can speak about how it was clearly not offside for Adam Lallana, then it would have been no offside and a red for Bailly.
“We did not have luck, but it is only the first half, 1-0. They have to come to Anfield now and they know how strong we are.
“To be honest, I would have thought we would have had more problems here
“We defended really good and now we know more. We had our moments, we played football.
“They could not defend us. This race is not over.
“I have no explanation for this,” he added. “It’s no problem if we have enough players in and around the box and we have the usual protection but in this situation we did not have enough protection.
“They played a chipped ball in behind Kolo; Alberto, I don’t know where he was at this moment. That confusion, it makes really no sense. We know this.
“That was the only big mistake we made in the game. Okay, they scored with it. That’s how it is, you have to accept this. It’s no problem.”
Liverpool will have to recover from the shock defeat at Anfield next week, if they are to reach the Europa League final in Basel on May 18.