Jurgen Klopp expects a ‘tough’ night as Liverpool aim to finish the job in Villarreal

Liverpool trained on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s match at El Madrigal

Jurgen Klopp has called on Liverpool to be ready to play their “best game ever” and to react quickly if they suffer against Villarreal.

Liverpool are favourites to reach a third Champions League semi-final in five seasons after winning the first leg 2-0 at Anfield. They prevented Villarreal from recording a shot on target last week, but Klopp expects Unai Emery’s Europa League winners to pose more of a threat on home soil.

And he guarded against complacency as he rejected a suggestion that the job is already done. “When I was younger I would be really angry now,” he said. “So no, it is half time.

“They will go with all they have. That is absolutely clear from the things Unai said after the game. Everything we are will be required. We have to be ready to play a top, top, top game. It will be tough but that is fine, a Champions League semi-final should be tough. We don’t expect it to be easy but we played a good game at home.”

Both Klopp and Emery said last week that Liverpool would have to suffer at El Madrigal but the German drew heart from his side’s display in an intense atmosphere at St James’ Park on Saturday.

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“A good example was Newcastle, the crowd was obviously very passionate but we did not let it happen which was the biggest quality of this game,” he said.

“It was not a show of football brilliance or whatever, we had our moments and of course could have scored more goals. How clear-cut the performance was; that was incredible and that is what we have to be. Yes, emotional, yes, ready to play the best game ever but knowing it will just not happen in all moments. We want to press here and there. Suffering doesn’t mean you suffer for long it means you suffer [click fingers] and then react.”

Liverpool have only trailed for 69 minutes in 2022 – and only lost to Inter Milan – and Klopp believes they need to show the ability to bounce back they demonstrated by scoring two equalisers in the 2-2 draw with Manchester City.

His team have also won all of their away games in this year’s Champions League. “I don’t think about it,” Klopp insisted. “We found in each game a way and we have to find in this game a way to get through. It was good, Atletico [Madrid] was outstanding. Porto really good, Inter really good.”

Liverpool will again be without Roberto Firmino, who is back in training and will travel to Spain but who will not be involved on Tuesday night.

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