The way to the Final
Liverpool are set to play their second leg of the Europa League Semi Final next.
The unfortunate Premier League defeat against Swansea recently wasn’t in vain hopefully as many of the players who could have been chosen but were not, were being rested for the purpose of keeping them all fit and ready for the up and coming fixture against Villarreal at Anfield.
The last clash between these two European teams was very equal, it had looked like ending in a goalless draw up until the 92nd minute of the game. One thing was missing out in Spain, though. Over 40000 of our fans! Anfield will be alive with our support as the “12th Man” will be with the team and motivating us to success as all the Reds home fans have been doing for many years.
I’m confident all the comebacks we have seen at Anfield before can be remembered and recreated as we go on and attempt to still claim our place in the Europa League Final.
The most recent comeback at Anfield saw Liverpool concede away goals to Borussia Dortmund, then later on turned the aggregate score line around in our favour as they showed the home fans that they would never give up and that they were determined to make it to the next round of the competition.
Villarreal only bring a single goal with them and that’s certainly nothing that cannot be overcome. It’ll be best if Simon Mignolet and the defenders in front of him play well enough to keep a clean sheet, as of course away goals will give Villarreal yet another advantage and we shouldn’t let that happen. We don’t need to make the job harder than it already is.
If Liverpool can score first at Anfield it will settle the fans down and give the players enough confidence to realise that reaching the Europa League Final is still very possible. Once we have one goal, it would at least be enough to level the aggregate score and provide an opportunity for extra time and penalties at the very least. That’s not something Liverpool are afraid of, if this happens we will be reminded (not that we will ever forget) of the glorious Champions League Final in Istanbul which saw us go into extra time and then faced AC Milan in a penalty shootout from which we emerged victorious.
Liverpool’s long history has prepared us all for our coming fixture. We are not afraid. We are LIVERPOOL!
A second goal for Liverpool (without conceding) would be very helpful and increase the aggregate score to 2-1. This would then make it far less likely that extra time and penalties would be happening and far more likely that Liverpool could qualify within the 90 minutes to be played. Staying tight at the back and dangerous enough to score at the far end of the pitch would be advisable tactics for Liverpool. Two goals for the home fans and none conceded at Anfield could be the easiest way to the Final. Not that any European fixtures seem to be “easy” at all, but this is surely our best shot at making it to the last stage of this competition, one which can potentially provide us with a route into the Champions League eventually.
The Final itself would also need to be won by Liverpool but the winners of the Europa League automatically qualify for Champions League football next season. This is something we always attempt to achieve in various ways, including battling for a top 4 place in the Premier League over 38 fixtures. This seasons league campaign hasn’t gone as well as most fans would have hoped, though we have had many problems to deal with including replacing our manager in October and limited squad selection throughout the many months due to a very large injury list and suspensions at times. All of this and not just poor performances on the pitch have contributed to decreasing the likelihood that Liverpool will qualify for Champions League via a top 4 spot in the Premier League. Our best chance at Champions League qualification now lies with winning the Europa League Final. Before we get to the Final we must of course, first win the Semi Final.
Jurgen Klopp has said this season “we take things one game at a time” and before we can fully focus on winning a game we haven’t even qualified to play in yet, we must put all our attention and efforts into winning against Villarreal at Anfield. Time for another comeback at Anfield. This is the way to the Final for Liverpool. Be a part of making your way there with the team and all our Anfield Family. You’ll Never Walk Alone.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (more than 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s