Liverpool overcame a valiant performance by Villarreal to book a third Champions League final in five seasons with a 3-2 victory at El Madrigal to complete a 5-2 aggregate win on Tuesday night.
The six-time European champions saw their first-leg advantage wiped out in the first half as Boulaye Dia’s third-minute opener was added to by Francis Coquelin, who outjumped Trent Alexander-Arnold to float a header into the top corner (41).
But Fabinho restored Liverpool’s advantage in the tie when his near-post shot flashed through Geronimo Rulli (62). It turned the tide as the inspired substitute Luis Diaz restored the visitors’ two-goal cushion from Alexander-Arnold’s cross (67).
It was a very dominant second-half display from Jurgen Klopp’s side, who capitalised on further dubious goalkeeping as Sadio Mane nipped in front of the roaming Rulli, rode the challenge of Juan Foyth to stroke into an unguarded net (74).
There was still time for Etienne Capoue to be sent off in the final five minutes following a second bookable offence on Curtis Jones as Liverpool march onto the Paris showpiece in 25 days’ time, where history might await.
The Champions League final takes place on May 28 at Saint-Denis’s Stade de France in Paris, against either Real Madrid or Manchester City.