Liverpool have made it to their tenth European Cup final, putting them in esteemed company. Only Milan, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich have made it to more. That’s not to say there weren’t moments of jeopardy in the second leg against Villarreal though.
It also means that Jurgen Klopp will manage in a fourth Champions League final on a personal level, having previously got there with Borussia Dortmund in 2013 and then twice with Liverpool in 2018 and 2019. Nobody has made it to more either.
Speaking to BT Sport after the match, Klopp was clearly energised by the prospect of getting to another final.
"I told the boys 'yes they have momentum, but they don't own it!'"
"It's not about who came on it was how we started then playing."
"Whoever the #UCL final will be, it will be massive."
Jürgen Klopp explains how he got a reaction from the Reds tonight ?
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 3, 2022
Liverpool did come under pressure though. In the first half Villarreal were rampant and had managed to level up the tie with goals from Boulaye Dia and Francis Coquelin. At half-time, he told his team that they could take back the momentum though.
The German manager was fairly honest about the fact they had to adjust the positions and their style of press, even admitting that they couldn’t find a single clip of Liverpool carrying out their plan properly. Additionally, he stated that the issues weren’t down to Diogo Jota, who was taken off for Luis Diaz at half-time. The Colombian revolutionised the game and got the second goal for Liverpool, killing the tie.
Although there is likely some truth in his answer, it may be that Klopp was seeking to protect Jota, whose place must surely be under threat from Diaz in the final.
The full press conference can be viewed here.