Liverpool 2-0 Villarreal: Mane strike leaves Yellow Submarine sinking

Liverpool 2-0 Villarreal: Mane strike leaves Yellow Submarine sinking

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The visitors were comfortably beaten at Anfield and did not trouble Alisson all night

The Yellow Submarine took two torpedo blows at Anfield as Liverpool's superior quality told in the end.

Unai Emery set Villarreal up as defensively as expected to try and take the game back to Spain’s east coast next week, still alive and kicking.

They dug in deep, to the chagrin of neutrals watching but also restricted Liverpool to just a couple of first-half chances.

Sadio Mane should have scored when Mo Salah’s cross found his clever run, but he nodded wide.

Later in the half Thiago Alcantara rattled the frame of Geronimo Rulli’s goal with a blast from distance that almost dipped into the top corner.

That was it, as the teams went in for half-time, with Anfield left underwhelmed. That soon changed.

The opening goal was a freak, with Jordan Henderson’s cross deflecting in off Pervis Estupinan, despite the desperate flailing of Rulli.

And little over two minutes later Liverpool doubled the lead, this time with some brilliant footwork from Mo Salah, who fed Mane to stab past the goalkeeper.

The jig was up for the visitors and Liverpool continued to pour forward, with Andy Robertson having a goal disallowed for offside and Rulli tipping over a Van Dijk thunderbolt from some way out.

Villarreal retain a sliver of hope because Jurgen Klopp’s dominant side could not grab a third, but Liverpool have one and three-quarter feet in the final.