Trent Alexander-Arnold offered a scathing assessment of Liverpool’s first-half performance at Villarreal but is willing to accept an occasional bad 45 minutes as long as they recover as they did to reach the Champions League final.
Villarreal drew level on aggregate, going up 2-0 on the night, before goals from Fabinho, Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane in the second half restored Liverpool’s lead and progression to May’s final in Paris.
It will be Liverpool’s third Champions League final under Jurgen Klopp, following a defeat to Real Madrid in 2018 and triumph over Tottenham in 2019.
Speaking after a thrilling 3-2 win, Alexander-Arnold made reference to the tricky paths that led to those finals, asserting the volatile nature of Tuesday’s victory was just a continuation of a theme.
“We never tend to make these Champions League semis easy for ourselves, thinking back to Roma away, Barca at home and now here – difficult, very difficult,” Alexander-Arnold told BT Sport post-match.
“We never played football that first half. We never picked up any of the second balls at all, and they kind of played the game the way that they wanted to, and we allowed them to do that.
“Second half, we came out and played the way that we needed to play, and controlled the game a lot better. One bad half over two legs, we can concede that as long as we got the job done.”
It’s boss being a Red
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 3, 2022
With the win, the Reds will face the winner of Wednesday’s semi-final second leg between Real Madrid and Manchester City.
“It’s always nice to get the job done on the Tuesday,” he said. “We can watch the game tomorrow, knowing that we’re going to be there, and who we’re going to play.
“I’m sure it will be a good game. If it goes by anything last week, we’ll be in for another amazing game. Either opponent kind of deserves to get to the final, so we’ll see who we’ll get.”
2-3 – All five of Villarreal’s shots tonight came in the first half, while 13 of Liverpool’s 15 efforts came in the second half. Díaz. pic.twitter.com/FIzYLjVNoV
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 3, 2022
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