English giants Liverpool booked their third Champions League final in five seasons after a beating Villarreal 3-2 in the second-leg which saw them progress 5-2 on aggregate.
Liverpool await the winner of the second semi-final between Real Madrid and Manchester City at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday with City leading 4-3 from the opener last week.
Liverpool lacked their usual control during the first half of the game which saw Villarreal with an early injection of belief through Dia in the 3rd minute.
Villarreal’s second goal coming four minutes before half-time, a build up play from Pau Torres who launched a long ball from deep for Capoue before hanging up a superb cross with his left foot for Coquelin to head in.
The half-time whistle prompted huge cheers from the home fans after being level in the tie, But the half-time introduction of January signing Luis Diaz from Klopp changed the game.
The English giants looked like a team smarting after the change whiles the Argentine Villarreal goal keeper Geronimo Rulli had a hand or lack of one in all of Liverpool’s three goals.
Fabinho fired in the first goal for the English side through Trent Alexander-Arnold’s deflected shot from distance looped “62” mins. Alexander-Arnold then floated a cross in the 67th mins to Diaz as he aimed an excellent header down and into the post.
Seven minutes later, Liverpool delivered the final blow as Sadio Mane sprinted clear and rolled into an open net to give his side their 3rd goal of the evening.
Villarreal’s misery was completed when E.Capoue was sent off for a foul on Curtis Jones in the 85th mins after earning a second yellow card for a frustrated challenge.
“It feels like the first final because it’s always so special — it’s the best club competition in the world,” Klopp said.
“Respect to Villarreal. Wonderful stadium and what they are doing here is incredible. It feels so special because it was so difficult for us.”
“It was massive from the boys. Before the game I said I’d like to read the headlines that the mentality monsters were in town. I didn’t want us to defend the result but go for the win, and the second half was like this.”
“To be in a final is never easy and to make this a third in five years is incredible from this group of boys,” Liverpool’s Andy Robertson said. “As fans and players, we should never take days like this for granted.”
“I have no regrets,” said Emery. “We have learned how to compete with the best teams. There were some answers we just couldn’t find.”
“He’s been special,” said Robertson about L.Diaz. “The talent he has, the will he has to win. He fits us perfectly. He made a big difference.”
“A banner draped behind the Villarreal goal at one end read “90 minutes from our dream” while before kick-off the stadium announcer shouted “it’s possible, the comeback is possible!”