The two sides seemed destined for a tie before they head to England next week, but Villareal changed the script against Liverpool at El Madrigal.
The Europa League semifinals got off to a flying start, as Villareal sunk Liverpool with a late winner at home. Adrian’s goal in stoppage time was enough to provide the Yellow Submarine with the advantage before the two teams square off on May 5 at Anfield.
Chances came far and few throughout the match, particularly during the first half, but Cédric Bakambu’s header off the post just after halftime almost gave Villareal the opener.
Liverpool will surely be disappointed with the result, even though they are by no means eliminated from the competition. The loss of Philippe Coutinho at halftime should also be noted, as the Brazilian exited the match with an unknown injury.
SEVILLA CAPTURES VITAL AWAY GOALS IN DRAW
Sevilla’s quest for a third consecutive Europa League crown is off to a flying start, after Unai Emery’s team tied Shakhtar Donetsk 2-2.
A pair of goals by Marlos and Taras Stepanenko cancelled out Sevilla’s opener, which came in the sixth minute of play. Vitolo opened the scoring for the La Liga side, after Kevin Gameiro played the midfielder in on goal.
A late penalty kick was converted by Gameiro, who has been instrumental in Sevilla’s success all season, in the 82nd minute.
The draw, along with two away goals, gives Sevilla a massive boost before the sides face off in a week’s time. The two teams will meet again on May 5 at Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán in Spain.