Belfast Telegraph

Super Sturridge has final say as rampant Reds march on

By Steven Beacom

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hailed the 'emotional football' that took his side to an impessive 3-0 victory over Villarreal and into the Europa League final with striker Daniel Sturridge centre stage on a memorable night at Anfield.

Sturridge, who did not feature in last week's first leg semi-final 1-0 defeat in Spain, scored once and was involved in Liverpool's other two goals.

Early on, under pressure from Sturridge and overwhelmed by the crackling atmosphere inside Anfield, Bruno Soriano netted an own goal.

Sturridge scored himself in the second half before Adam Lallana added another to earn the Reds a 3-1 aggregate victory against a disappointing Villarreal side, who had Victor Ruiz sent off on 71 minutes.

Liverpool will play holders Sevilla in the Europa League final on May 18 in Swiss city Basel, knowing that victory would bring Klopp a trophy in his first campaign in charge and earn a Champions League spot next season.

The German (right) said: "It was a brilliant game from my side. What power, what a performance. Attitude, readiness, everything. The first 30 minutes was emotion and the last 15 minutes.

"The second half plan was to keep going with the emotional football but using the brain a bit more and in the end we dit it. We now have a final in Basel to look forward to. That will be great for the club."

SEE PAGES 62 & 63

Belfast Telegraph


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