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Red letter day as sublime Liverpool march into Europa League final

Liverpool 3-0 Villarreal (Liverpool win 3-1 on aggregate)

By Simon Hughes

Published 06/05/2016

Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool celebrates victory after the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. Liverpool reach the Europa League Final winning 3-1 on aggregate. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool celebrates victory after the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. Liverpool reach the Europa League Final winning 3-1 on aggregate. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Liverpool's English midfielder Adam Lallana (L) celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp gestures after a 3-0 victory during the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: Adam Lallana of Liverpool (C) scores their third goal past goalkeeper Alphonse Areola of Villarreal during the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool shakes hands with Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool as he is substituted during the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge in action as Villarreal goalkeeper Alphonse Areola dives during the UEFA Europa League, Semi Final, Second Leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 5, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool reacts during the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool and assistant coach Zeljko Buvac (R) shout during the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: Adam Lallana of Liverpool (3R) celebrates with team mates and fans as he scores their third goal during the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Liverpool's English striker Daniel Sturridge (C) celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's English striker Daniel Sturridge (L) celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: Marcelino Garcia Toral head coach of Villarreal reacts during the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Liverpool's English striker Daniel Sturridge (C) celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: Marcelino Garcia Toral head coach of Villarreal reacts during the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Liverpool's English striker Daniel Sturridge (R) celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's English striker Daniel Sturridge (Top R) celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's English striker Daniel Sturridge celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp (2nd L) speaks with Liverpool's Croatian defender Dejan Lovren (L) during the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's English midfielder Adam Lallana (R) challenges Villarreal's French goalkeeper Alphonse Areola during the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool fans hold up a banner about the Hillsborough disaster during the UEFA Europa League, Semi Final, Second Leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 5, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire
Liverpool's English striker Daniel Sturridge (2nd R) celebrates after an own goal from Villarreal's midfielder Bruno Soriano during the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool players celebrate their first goal during the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp (R) speaks with Villarreal's coach Marcelino Garcia Toral during the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Roberto Firmino (R) vies for the ball against Villarreal's Argentinian defender Mateo Musacchio during the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp (R) celebrates his team's first goal during the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's players celebrate their first goal during the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge (centre) and Roberto Firmino (11) celebrate after Villareal's Bruno (left) scores an own-goal during the UEFA Europa League, Semi Final, Second Leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 5, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire
Villareal's Mateo Musacchio and Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho (right) battle for the ball during the UEFA Europa League, Semi Final, Second Leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 5, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool andMarcelino Garcia Toral head coach of Villarreal argue during the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: James Milner of Liverpool jumps for the ball during the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: Adam Lallana of Liverpool and Denis Suarez of Villarreal battle for the ball during the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Liverpool's English striker Daniel Sturridge (4th L) strikes the ball towards the goal which makes contact with Villarreal's midfielder Bruno Soriano to score an own goal during the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool celebrates as Bruno of Villarreal scores an own goal for their first goal during the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool celebrates as Bruno of Villarreal scores an own goal for their first goal during the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp celebrates his team's first goal during the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: A banner reading '27 years too late' is held prior to the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Banners and flags are waved on The Kop prior to the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
The Liverpool squad are pictured ahead of the start of the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: Banners and flags are waved on The Kop prior to the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: Liverpool fans show their support prior to the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
The Villarreal team pose for a picture ahead of the start of the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
The Villarreal squad warm up before the start of the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool looks on prior to the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool looks on prior to the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool looks on prior to the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool looks on prior to the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool talks during the warm up prior to the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Liverpool fans show their support in the streets prior to the UEFA Europa League, Semi Final, Second Leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PA
Liverpool fans light flares and surround the Villarreal team bus prior to the UEFA Europa League, Semi Final, Second Leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 5, 2016. PA
Liverpool fans Climb scaffolding prior to the UEFA Europa League, Semi Final, Second Leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 5, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire
Liverpool fans light flares and surround the Villarreal team bus prior to the UEFA Europa League, Semi Final, Second Leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 5, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire
The Liverpool team bus arrives ahead of the start of the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool fans show their support in the streets prior to the UEFA Europa League, Semi Final, Second Leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 5, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire
Liverpool fans show their support in the streets prior to the UEFA Europa League, Semi Final, Second Leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 5, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire
Liverpool fans show their support in the streets prior to the UEFA Europa League, Semi Final, Second Leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 5, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire
Liverpool fans show their support in the streets prior to the UEFA Europa League, Semi Final, Second Leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 5, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire
Liverpool fans Climb scaffolding prior to the UEFA Europa League, Semi Final, Second Leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 5, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire
Liverpool fans light flares and surround the Villarreal team bus prior to the UEFA Europa League, Semi Final, Second Leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 5, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire
The Villareal team bus arrives ahead of the start of the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool fans light flares and surround the Villarreal team bus prior to the UEFA Europa League, Semi Final, Second Leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 5, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire
Liverpool fans light flares and surround the Villarreal team bus prior to the UEFA Europa League, Semi Final, Second Leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 5, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire
Liverpool fans light flares and surround the Villarreal team bus prior to the UEFA Europa League, Semi Final, Second Leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 5, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire
The Liverpool team bus arrives ahead of the start of the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool fans light flares in streets prior to the UEFA Europa League, Semi Final, Second Leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 5, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire
Liverpool fans light flares in streets prior to the UEFA Europa League, Semi Final, Second Leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 5, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire
Liverpool fans light flares in streets prior to the UEFA Europa League, Semi Final, Second Leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 5, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire
The Villarreal team bus arrives ahead of the start of the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool fans light flares in streets prior to the UEFA Europa League, Semi Final, Second Leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 5, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire
Liverpool fans light flares in streets prior to the UEFA Europa League, Semi Final, Second Leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 5, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire
Liverpool fans light flares in streets prior to the UEFA Europa League, Semi Final, Second Leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 5, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire
Liverpool fans line the streets prior to the UEFA Europa League, Semi Final, Second Leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 5, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire
Liverpool fans line the streets prior to the UEFA Europa League, Semi Final, Second Leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 5, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire
A woman waits in her house for the Liverpool team bus to arrive ahead of the start of the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool fans line the streets prior to the UEFA Europa League, Semi Final, Second Leg at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 5, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp (2nd L) arrives at the stadium ahead of the start of the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge arrives at the stadium ahead of the start of the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Villarreal's coach Marcelino Garcia Toral arrives at the stadium ahead of the start of the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Villarreal fans are pictured before the start of the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Villarreal fans are pictured before the start of the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Villarreal fans are pictured before the start of the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Villarreal fans are pictured before the start of the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on May 5, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Fans wait outside the stadium prior to the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: Programmes for sale prior to the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: A fan holds a flag reading 'We climbed the hill in our own way' outside the stadium prior to the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: Programmes for sale prior to the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: A thank you message is seen in a Hillsborough Justice Campaign office window prior to the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: Pin badges for sale prior to the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: Fans walk past a Hillsborough Justice Campaign office prior to the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: Programmes for sale prior to the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
A fan takes a photograph as fresh tributes adorn the Hillsborough Memorial outside the stadium prior to the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
A fan takes a photograph as fresh tributes adorn the Hillsborough Memorial outside the stadium prior to the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Fresh tributes adorn the Hillsborough Memorial outside the stadium prior to the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Fresh tributes adorn the Hillsborough Memorial outside the stadium prior to the UEFA Europa League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Villarreal CF at Anfield on May 5, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool looks on during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Danny Ward of Liverpool smiles during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Martin Skrtel of Liverpool warms up during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Emre Can of Liverpool looks on during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Danny Ings of Liverpool warms up during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Danny Ings of Liverpool warms up during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool gestures during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool warms up during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04: James Milner (2ndL) of Liverpool warms up with Danny Ings (L) during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Liverpool players warm up during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool looks on during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool looks on during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Kolo Toure of Liverpool warms up during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Kolo Toure of Liverpool warms up during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Christian Benteke of Liverpool stretches during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Kolo Toure of Liverpool warms up during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Kolo Toure of Liverpool warms up during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Kolo Toure of Liverpool warms up during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Emre Can of Liverpool juggles the ball during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool warms up during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool gestures during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool gestures during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Jordon Ibe (L) and Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool warm up during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Jordon Ibe (L) and Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool warm up during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Martin Skrtel of Liverpool warms up during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Martin Skrtel of Liverpool warms up during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Liverpool players warm up during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04: James Milner (L) of Liverpool warms up during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool looks on during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04: James Milner (C) of Liverpool warms up with Danny Ings (L) during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Dejan Lovren of Liverpool laughs as he warms up with Christian Benteke (R) during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)

Daniel Sturridge's eyes were bulging, ecstasy seizing his face. His arms and hands were uncontrollable, pumping the night air in unbridled celebration rather than cool, rehearsed dance.

In the scrum that followed, he needed treatment because someone punched him by accident. It may have been self-inflicted.

Soon, Jurgen Klopp's fury at Alberto Moreno for nearly conceding a needless penalty, which may have sent Villarreal through, had to be delivered by Lucas, the substitute, because Moreno was too far away from the technical area.

Anyone who dismisses Liverpool's run to a Europa League final with Sevilla as insignificant because it is not the Champions League is either biased or has forgotten what football is meant to be about. The passage to Basel has been an unexpected, emotional story of recovery.

Liverpool knew they needed to win the Europa League for their season to be considered a success. This was a team carrying a feeling of injustice, smarting from the way defeat was sealed and celebrated by Villarreal's players in Spain last week.

It was also the first match at Anfield since the Hillsborough inquest reached a verdict last week, with a card display and an emotional 'You'll Never Walk Alone' ringing around the ground before the game.

The only unenforced change made by Marcelino, Villarreal's manager, was a switch of goalkeepers with PSG loanee Alphonse Areola preferred to Sergio Asenjo. The 23-year-old's handling in the opening minutes contributed towards his team's fear.

It was not a surprise, indeed, when Liverpool drew the tie level at 1-1 in the seventh minute.

Areola did not deal with Nathaniel Clyne's sizzling cross after being released by a returning Emre Can following an ankle injury. From there Roberto Firmino, positioned on the other side of the box, fired back and though Sturridge could not make the final touch, his effort to do so forced captain Bruno Soriano to turn the ball into his own net.

Sturridge was getting plenty of touches, his movement reminding that while he is high maintenance, he is worth persevering with.

As the first-half wore on, tensions increased. Villarreal turned it into a battle. Roberto Soldado kept falling over. There were niggly fouls and elbows. It became very scruffy, and the managers were still arguing as they headed down the tunnel after Klopp's assistant Zeljko Buvac had annoyed Marcelino.

Villarreal were settling into a pattern; their 4-4-2 bank swelling Liverpool's attacks; their midfield narrow, causing a congested middle.

The mood shifted again, however, when Liverpool's second came from Sturridge after he was spotted by Firmino, who must possess eyes at the back of his head. When Víctor Ruiz was sent off for a second booking with 20 minutes left, Liverpool's challenge became easier.

Victory was confirmed when Adam Lallana scored their third.

Liverpool now go to Basel, which does not possess a ground big enough to meet expectancy levels in terms of tickets, nor the accommodation for the number of Liverpool fans who will travel.

The Spirit of Shankly group have already written to Uefa outlining their concerns. The final is less than two weeks away.

liverpool win 3-1 on aggregate

LIVERPOOL: Mignolet, Clyne, Toure, Lovren, Moreno, Can, Lallana, Milner, Coutinho (Allen, 82), Sturridge (Lucas, 90), Firmino (Benteke, 89). Subs not used: Ward, Ibe, Skrtel, Smith.

VILLARREAL: Areola, Mario, Musacchio, Victor Ruiz, Jaume, Jonathan (Bonera, 72), Pina (Trigueros, 60), Bruno, Suarez, Soldado (Adrian, 68), Bakambu. Subs not used: Sergio Asenjo, Samuel, Castillejo, Rukavina.

Match Rating: 7/10

Man of the match: Daniel Sturridge

Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary)

Belfast Telegraph

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