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Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool must be ‘completely on alert’ for Champions League second leg vs Villarreal

Jurgen Klopp warns Liverpool they must be ‘completely on alert’ for Champions League semi-final second leg against Villarreal – despite taking two-goal lead to Spain next week

Liverpool are on the verge of their tenth appearance in a European Cup final – but Jurgen Klopp warned his high-flyers they must remain on high alert.

Second half goals from Jordan Henderson and Sadio Mane, which came in the space of 133 seconds, put Liverpool firmly in control of their semi-final against Villarreal on a raucous night at Anfield.

But Liverpool boss Klopp was quick to rein in any ideas they have as good as booked a date in Paris next month against Manchester City or Real Madrid, stressing that Unai Emery’s obdurate team have it within them to inflict maximum damage.

Jurgen Klopp warned Liverpool they must be 'on alert' for their European tie against Villarreal

Jurgen Klopp warned Liverpool they must be ‘on alert’ for their European tie against Villarreal

Klopp said: ‘The way that we played, the way that we defended, the way that we attacked them – I loved it. I like the way we played in the first half, when we couldn’t score, and it was clear that we had to keep going.

‘It’s 2-0 at half-time. This is the best example of a score when you have to be completely on alert. We will have to be 100 per cent in the right mood and play the second leg in exactly the same way we played the first.

‘The score is fine but we are not through. I looked at Villarreal and the way they were organised was a lesson for me. But we should not forget that we are good as well. It will be difficult, of course, in Villarreal.

Klopp saw his side beat Villarreal 2-0 in their Champions League semi-final first-leg tie at Anfield on Wednesday night thanks to a Pervis Estupinan own goal and a Sadio Mane strike

Klopp saw his side beat Villarreal 2-0 in their Champions League semi-final first-leg tie at Anfield on Wednesday night thanks to a Pervis Estupinan own goal and a Sadio Mane strike

‘The best way to deal with a 2-0 lead is to ignore it and start again at 0-0.’

Victory maintained Liverpool’s outstanding form and if they are to go all the way in this competition, it will mean they will play nine games in 31 days – culminating in Paris, the city where they won the third of their six European Cups in 1981, beating Real Madrid.

The highlight of Liverpool’s performance was the patience they showed at times when Villarreal defended on the edge of their penalty area. Key to it all was the influence of Thiago Alcantara, who was UEFA’s Player of the Match.

Visiting boss Unai Emery urged his team to be ready for a fight to turn things around in six days

Visiting boss Unai Emery urged his team to be ready for a fight to turn things around in six days

‘It is not just about patience, we were trying to figure out where are the games and the opportunities to score,’ Thiago said. ‘In the second half it came. We created the chances we wanted to and at the end we are fine with the score.’

Villarreal boss Emery acknowledged that Liverpool were the better team but urged them to be prepared for a fight in six days.

‘I want to play, I want to be involved, I can’t wait to get the game underway,’ said Emery. ‘I want you to see we can take the game to them and we are capable of giving them a game.’

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