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What Klopp told his team to spark Villarreal win

Revealed: What Klopp told his players at half time to spark Liverpool's comeback win at Villarreal

May 4, 2022 By Ali M.
The Merseyside giants were two-nil down at half time due to their shaky performance in the first 45 minutes. Here's what the German boss said in response to that display.

Liverpool took on Villarreal yesterday for the second leg of their UEFA Champions League semifinal matchup with many predicting the Reds would coast to victory and seal their spot in the final. The reason for this was understandable: with Salah and Co. winning 2-0 in the first leg, the Premier League giants boasted an impressive lead.

However, the Reds' lovely advantage was quickly brought down as two goals inside the first half saw the Yellow Submarine equal the aggregate score line. Klopp's men were in shock by the break, with fans fearing a horrible exit was on the horizon for Liverpool.

Fortunately for the Merseyside outfit, the commanding and fearsome performances everyone has come to expect from Van Dijk and Co. was on exhibition in the second half as the visitors bullied Unai Emery's side and scored three goals to pull off a comeback victory at El Madrigal. Fabinho, Luis Diaz, and Sadio Mane all got on the scoresheet to book their team's ticket to the final in Paris.

So what did Klopp say to his players during half-time to spark a drastic improvement on the pitch? Van Dijk opened up after the game about the dressing room talk, telling BT Sport that the German boss encouraged his men to show conviction, character, and to play football.

"He said 'play football, play the Liverpool way'," Van Dijk told BT Sport.

"He told us to play the way we've been playing basically all season, to get on the ball, have a lot of movement in the box and behind the high line, but also to show how much we really want to go to the final."

Salah corroborated this story, revealing that the character and personality of the Anfield superstars helped them turn around the fixture as the English side went on to triumph 5-2 on aggregate.

Liverpool, having qualified for their third UEFA Champions League final since the arrival of Klopp, can now sit back and peacefully watch the other semifinal tie. That fixture will see rivals Manchester City take on Real Madrid at the iconic Santiago Bernabeu, with Pep's men boasting a crucial, but slim, 4-3 lead.

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