Watch: Unai Emery gracious in defeat as Villarreal bow out to Liverpool

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Villarreal are out of the Champions League after being beaten 5-3 on aggregate by Jurgen Klopp’s machine-like Liverpool, but they can hold their heads high. For 60 minutes of the second leg, the Yellow Submarine were very much in the tie.

Emery’s side had received criticism from some outlets for their conservative approach at Anfield, but it was evident both that Villarreal had been below their own standards and that there was method to the madness after the second leg. Had Villarreal held firm in the second half, then keeping the damage to the minimum would have made sense.

The Basque manager was gracious enough to admit that Liverpool’s victory was well-deserved while speaking to BT Sport.

Jurgen Klopp admitted after the match that Liverpool had to rethink their tactics at half-time to adjust to Villarreal’s domination of the first half.

Understandably, Emery expressed first disappointment before pride at Villarreal’s performance. Yet his work will go down in history, given the club managed to surpass two giants on the way to the semi-finals. Villarreal were playing in the Europa League last season, but were in fact in the second division just a decade ago, which highlights the depth of club’s achievement.

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