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Liverpool reach Europa League final. Getty
  • Liverpool to meet Sevilla in Europa League final on 18 May after 3-1 aggregate win
  • Own goal from Bruno Soriano gave Reds lead during first half
  • Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana wrapped up comprehensive Anfield win
  • Sevilla beat Shakhtar Donetsk 5-3 on aggregate to reach third consecutive final

Liverpool have booked their place in the Europa League final where they will take on Sevilla at St. Jakob Park in Basel on 18 May. The La Liga side are chasing their third consecutive success in this competition, having sealed a 5-3 aggregate victory over Shakhtar Donetsk tonight.

FULL TIME: Liverpool 3-0 Villarreal

(Liverpool win 3-1 on aggregate)

Denis Suarez is booked after a cynical trip on Moreno. Villarreal have lost their heads a bit here, they've definitely lost this tie.

Lucas is also on for the final three minutes of added time, replacing Sturridge.

Adam Lallana prods home Liverpool's third. That will be that.

Adam Lallana

A change for Liverpool, Christian Benteke comes onto replace Firmino.

Almost a fourth! Liverpool charge forward on the counter led by Sturridge who is left one-on-one with the goalkeeper. He cuts in from the left, opens his body up to curl one into the far corner but Areola sticks out a boot to make the save. Joe Allen tries to follow it up, but the angle is against him and the chance is gone.

Liverpool have their third! Firmino does brilliantly to cut up the left flank and drill a ball into Sturridge. He miss hits his effort, but Lallana is right behind him to nudge it past Areola. Just over five minutes left; Liverpool should have their place in the final.

Goal! Liverpool 3-0 Villarreal (Adam Lallana, 80)

Sturridge again tries to go by himself down the right, blasting on goal from a very tight angle but it is not troubling Areola.

Sturridge sprints across to get onto a ball that looked to be intended for Coutinho on the edge of the box and whacks a poor shot on goal that sails over. Wrong choice from the striker, both Coutinho and Milner were available there.

Suarez jinks into the box and goes down under an extremely light challenge from Moreno. He looks up pleadingly to the referee for a penalty, but gets nothing.

Suarez leaps over a couple of challenges as he ventures down the right. He eventually settles for a corner, but it is cleared away by the first man.

Ooof, what a hit by Firmino. The Brazilian receives the ball on the edge of the area and with no backlift, lashes one on goal that is palmed away by Areola.

Marcelino is forced to play his final card after that red with defender Bonera coming into replace dos Santos.

Villarreal are down to 10! Victor Ruiz, shown a yellow in the first half, is late on Lallana just outside the box. He barely steps on the playmaker's toes, but the referee shows no hesitation in dishing out a second booking. Villarreal are sinking here.

RED CARD - Victor Ruiz

Marcelino makes his second change, the ineffective Soldado is replaced by the goal scorer from the first leg, Adrian Lopez.

Liverpool cause trouble on the break again with Firmino keeping the counter alive with a wonderful backheel down the left flank. He cuts the ball back to Coutinho on the edge of the box who tries to sweep it into the far corner, but it veers wide.

Sturridge puts Liverpool ahead on aggregate! Firmino slides a ball through for the England international who is being played onside by Musacchio. With all the time in the world, he can open his body up and, via a slight deflection off the goalkeeper, find the far corner.

Goal! Liverpool 2-0 Villarreal (Daniel Sturridge, 62)

Milner threads a delightful ball for Lallana to race onto down the inside right channel, but Ruiz stops him in his tracks with a superb sliding challenge.

Sevilla have taken a firm step into the Europa League. They lead 3-1 on the night against Shakhtar Donetsk thanks to Mariano who has found the back of the net from range. They now lead 5-3 on aggregate.

First change of the game as we approach the hour mark, Pina will be replaced by Manu Trigueros.

A blistering start to the half has calmed down a bit, but Liverpool are well in control of the contest at the moment. While they had that half-chance presented to Bakumbu at the start of the half, it is difficult to see Villarreal finding a goal tonight.

Villarreal's defence have been kept on their toes with Liverpool peppering their goal with crosses early into this second half. Musacchio and Lovren are grappling with each other as the latest ball comes into the box, allowing it to drift out to Moreno who hammers an effort on goal but it is always sailing over the bar.

Terrific skill from James Milner (!) on the edge of the ball as he sells a turn to Ruiz before moving the ball onto his left foot, but his low drive is comfortably saved by Areola.

Sevilla have taken the lead again at home to Shakhtar and it is Gameiro again. The Spaniards lead 4-3 on aggregate.

Liverpool win another corner as Sturridge tries to blast one across the face of goal on the counter, but Mario forces it out.

Vital challenge from Lovren! Toure loses his footing and Soldado is able to head onto Bakumbu just on the edge of the box. He pulls the trigger on the shot, but the Croatia defender slides a boot across to make a critical block.

And Villarreal get us back underway for the second half.

Things are also level in Spain in our other semi-final. Sevilla took the lead on their own turf through Kevin Gameiro after just nine minutes but Shakhtar Donetsk have pulled one back through former Arsenal striker. Eduardo. Sevilla will go through on away goals if that one stays as it is.

A cross intended for Daniel Sturridge was bundled home by Bruno after just six minutes this evening. Liverpool lead on the night, but the contest is poised at 1-1 on aggregate. Second half coming up shortly.

Liverpool vs Villarreal
An own goal from Bruno opened the scoring for Liverpool. Getty

Bakumbu fires a weak effort on goal that is easily saved by Mignolet. That's it for a first-half that absolutely flew by.

HALF TIME: Liverpool 1-0 Villarreal.

Liverpool vs Villarreal
Soldado and Lovren clash. Getty

It has got a bit tasty on occasion out there so far.

Yellow card for Soldado, as he wraps a leg around Coutinho after the ball is played. Bizarrely, he's furious with the referee's decision. No one is buying it, Robbie.

And Areola does well again, catching Coutinho's inswinging cross under tremendous pressure from Sturridge. The young Frenchman looked as shaky as anyone following the Liverpool opener, but has settled down well.

James Milner is urged to shoot from 25 yards out but sees his effort forced out for a corner. Areola this time deals with it well, pulling it out of the air and setting his side up for a counter.

Suarez thinks he is fouled as he tries to dance his way into the final third but the ref plays on. He races back and does well to force Sturridge off the ball with an aggressive shove. Clyne tries to make up for it but mistimes his challenge and is booked. It's getting a bit fiery out there and on the sidelines too, with Klopp and Marcelino sharing a heated discussion.

Lovren meets the deep cross with a looping header but Areola plucks it out of the air. Prior to that corner, Ruiz was shown a yellow card for what I assume was his protest over the referee's decision not to give Bakumbu a free kick.

Bakumbu tries to drive forward but goes down, appealing for the free kick. He doesn't get it and Liverpool pounce on the loose ball, giving it to Coutinho who tries his luck from range but his effort deflects wide for a corner.

Coutinho receives the ball with his back to goal just inside the box and almost spins brilliantly past Musacchio, but the Villarreal defender reacts just as well and forces the ball wide.

Areola gets absolutely nowhere near a corner kick from Milner, leaving Musacchio with the task of cleaning up behind him.

Villarreal have rediscovered their composure well but are still leaving gaps in behind on the left flank. Firmino this time scampers into space down there and a one-two with Moreno and lifts a dangerous cross in, but it's just about nutted away out of the path of Sturridge.

Liverpool might have a problem, here. James Milner doesn't look comfortable at all following a heavy challenge from Ruiz. He'll try to walk it off...

Liverpool lose the ball in midfield and Bakumbu picks it up, laying it off to Suarez who swings a fine ball out to the right to find the onrushing dos Santos. He opts against the first time delivery and tries to take on Clyne, who does brilliantly to hold him off and stop him jinking inside.

Adam Lallana threads a nice ball through for Milner inside the box but the skipper drags his shot wide of the far post.

Nervous defending at the back from Villarreal. Coutinho spreads the ball wide to Milner who lifts a ball in from the right but their is confusion between the two Villarreal centre halves and it almost breaks invitingly to the Brazilian. The chance just passes him by, however, and Ruiz sweeps clear.

Liverpool, as you could expected, have started with real intensity tonight and Villarreal look a tad rattled. Since falling behind, they haven't been able to hold onto the ball at all.

Sevilla meanwhile have taken the lead in our other semi-final this evening, they lead 3-2 on aggregate thanks to Kevin Gameiro's ninth minute strike.

Liverpool take the lead! Moments after dos Santos skied a decent effort on goal, the home side sweep forward on the counter. Firmino fires a ball across the face of goal with Sturridge lurking, but the ball looks to come off Bruno last as its bundled over the line.

Goal! Liverpool 1-0 Villarreal (Daniel Sturridge, 6)

Half a chance for Villarreal! The away side sweep forward and a cross comes in from the left that Soldado can chest down into the path of Mario whose shot takes a deflection on it's route to goal, but Mignolet saves.

Whistles flood down from around Anfield as Villarreal get on the ball but they quickly lose it as Soldado's flick fails to find a teammate.

Coutinho flicks a ball into the box for Sturridge but Mario gets their first. There's a moment of confusion between him and goalkeeper Areola as the ball momentarily spills, but between them they manage to hook it away.

And Liverpool get us underway at a rocking Anfield.

It's one of those Special Nights At Anfield™ and the atmosphere has been building all day.

Villarreal boss Marcelino made a host of changes to the side that took on Valencia on Saunday night and they still won at a canter. The manager reverts back to a more familiar starting XI tonight with just two changes from the side that beat Liverpool last Thursday, with Mateo Musacchio coming in for Eric Bailly, who is carrying a slight injury, and on-loan goalkeeper Alphonse Areola retaining his plan ahead of Sergio Asenjo.

Just over 20 minutes from kick off at Anfield and in Seville, where our other semi-final tie is finely poised at 2-2. Here's the team news from the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium.

This week, Liverpool's Luis Alberto, on loan at Deportivo this season, spoke to IBTimesUK and told us he is confident of his parent club overturning the deficit.

The 1-0 give an advantage to Villarreal, because if they score it will be very complicated for Liverpool, but I think it will be even. Perhaps 55/45 in favour of Villarreal. "But Anfield is like a theatre. Fans push you a lot, they are with the team until the end and will continue to support the same despite the 1-0 in the first leg. I still have friends at Liverpool, like Alberto Moreno, Lucas (Leiva) and Philipe Coutinho, so I will be supporting them on Thursday too.

You can read the full interview here.

It was Adrian Lopez who tapped home the winner in Spain last week after Denis Suarez's brilliance, but it was Alberto Moreno's aimless wandering upfield in the dying minutes of the match that left the space to be exploited.

After the defeat, Klopp said:

I'm not happy with the goal we conceded in the last second or something. Of course counter attacking in the 92nd minute makes not too much sense to be honest. "There is no explanation for this.

"They played one chip ball on the back of Kolo and Alberto [Moreno] is not there – I don't know where he was – so that was really fortuitous and that makes really no sense but that was the only big mistake we made in the game.

Villarreal side to face Liverpool: Areola, Mario, Musacchio, Victor Ruiz, Costa, Dos Santos, Pina, Bruno, Denis Suarez, Soldado, Bakumbu,

A couple of bold decisions from Jurgen Klopp, then. No Lucas and no Joe Allen in that midfield tonight. With no Divock Origi, the Reds boss also turns to Daniel Sturridge to provide the firepower for his side.

BREAKING: Daniel Sturridge starts up front for Liverpool tonight while Emre Can returns in midfield to replace Joe Allen.

Liverpool team to face Villarreal: Mignolet, Clyne, Toure, Lovren, Moreno, Can, Milner, Lallana, Firmino, Coutinho, Sturridge.

Subs: Ward, Benteke, Lucas, Allen, Skrtel, Ibe, Smith.

It's also good news on the injury front for Villarreal; Marcelino has a fully fit squad to choose from with Eric Bailly and Leo Baptistao back amongst his available options, having missed the first leg.

The Spanish boss also rested a number of his key players, Mario, Victor Ruiz, Denis Suarez, Bruno Soriano and top scored Cedric Bakambu, on Sunday against Valencia, with his side still cruising to an east 2-0 win.

Liverpool are hoping to reach their first European final in nine years and will be boosted by the news that Emre Can will return to the squad for tonight's match. The German midfielder was an injury victim that memorable triumph over Borussia Dortmund last month and has missed the club's last five matches due to an ankle problem.

Jordan Henderson remains sidelined, however, as a result of a knee injury suffered in the first-leg clash with Dortmund.

Emre Can is ready to return to the squad for sure. The rest we have to see. Hendo is on a good way, on a good way for England, not too sure how good a way for Liverpool.

"He was not on the pitch until now and we have to see day-by-day how to improve. Only Emre will return to the squad, the rest are still out.

Liverpool are hoping to break Spain's dominance of European competition this evening. With a Madrid derby lined up for the Champions League final in Milan following Manchester City's elimination on Wednesday, Villarreal and Sevilla are hoping to make it an all-La Liga affair in the Europa League too. Sevilla were held to a draw away to Shakhtar Donetsk in the first leg of their semi-final, but given their pedigree in this competition, you fancy them to progress at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium tonight.

Villarreal have one foot in the final, thanks to Adrian Lopez's last minute winner last Thursday. But as they proved against Borussia Dortmund in the quarter-final, Liverpool can rely on the Anfield crowd to help them turn things around.