Villarreal 2-3 Liverpool (2-5): Reds' comeback books Champions League final place

Villarreal 2-3 Liverpool (2-5): Reds' comeback books Champions League final place

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Three second half goals killed of Villarreal's hopes of an unlikely comeback on Tuesday

Liverpool produced a stirring second-half comeback to beat Villarreal 3-2 on Tuesday as they reached a third Champions League final in five years at the expense of the LaLiga side. 

It was a story of two halves as Villarreal produced a brilliant opening 45 minutes to lead 2-0 at the break, tying the score at 2-2 on aggregate after last week's 2-0 defeat at Anfield. 

However, Liverpool, six-time winners of the European Cup, scored three unanswered goals in the second half to set up a final in Paris against either Manchester City or Real Madrid later this month. 

Boulaye Dia's third-minute goal fuelled hopes of an unlikely comeback in the Villarreal rain with the home supporters roaring their team on. 

A first-ever Champions League final then moved into sight in the 41st minute when midfielder Francis Coquelin drew the tie level on aggregate. 

Liverpool, who are on track for a Quadruple this season, are made of strong stuff, though, and Fabinho's goal, which squeezed through Geronimo Rulli's legs, gave them the lead in the tie once again. 

January signing Luis Diaz, brought on at half-time, then leveled things up on the night in the 67th minute before Sadio Mane killed the game off in the 74th minute after Rulli was caught in no man's land a long way from his goal. 

Liverpool, who were last champions of Europe in 2019, could have added a fourth, with Mohamed Salah missing a good chance, while Villarreal were reduced to 10 men late on when Etienne Capoue received a second yellow card. 

Despite the defeat, Villarreal's supporters stayed well after their final whistle to acknowledge an incredible run to the last four which saw them eliminate Bayern Munich and Juventus.

As for Liverpool, with the League Cup already won, they now have Champions League and FA Cup finals to look forward to, while they continue to compete for the Premier League title with Man City.  

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