Villarreal boss Unai Emery claims he has extra motivation to knock Liverpool out of the Champions League because the Reds are playing their ‘best ever’ football.
The Yellow Submarine take on Jurgen Klopp’s side in just their second-ever European Cup semi-final, with the first leg at Anfield coming on Wednesday night.
Ahead of the clash, Emery revealed that this Liverpool side are superior to the ones he faced while manager of Arsenal.
“I remember my experiences against Liverpool at Anfield as challenging,” Emery said. “I recognise the work done and the identity created by Klopp, which has since been further improved.
“I see that as an additional motivation for me, to try and beat the best ever Liverpool. For that we will need to show our best version.”
Villarreal have already knocked out Juventus and Bayern Munich on their way to the last four and know one more giant-killing will see them reach their first ever Champions League final.
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“We deserve to be here. Any side that is in a Champions League semi-final is there because they deserve to be,” Emery added.
“Liverpool know we have a great European presence, that we have been able to eliminate two great teams. They know it won’t be easy.
“This is the best Liverpool side that I can remember. They will feel like favourites, of course, but will have respect for us.
“We face a bigger challenge than before. The surprise factor is no longer there. They are the number one favourites to win this competition. The team is a mirror of their coach, Jurgen Klopp, in terms of playing with joy, with enthusiasm. They are in the best moment.”
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