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Liverpool Reach Champions League Final The Hard Way, Survive Early Scare At Villarreal

The Reds came back from two goals down to win the second leg of their semifinal clash against Villarreal in Spain on Tuesday night. At halftime, Liverpool's Champions League dreams looked set to become a nightmare.

When the final whistle arrived, the dream of continental supremacy was still alive and well.

After blowing a 2-0 aggregate lead at Villarreal in the semifinal second leg, the Reds exploded for three goals in the second half to not only win the second leg, 3-2, but to advance to their third UCL final in the last five seasons.

They advanced 5-2 on aggregate. Fabinho, Luis Diaz and Sadio Made each scored in a 12-minute span to turn the tie on its head, stunning fans at Estadio de la Ceramica after their team had Liverpool on their heels with an exceptional opening 45 minutes.

A third-minute goal from Boulaye Dia and a 41st-minute header from Francis Coquelin allowed the Spanish club to dream, but in the end they could not produce enough.

Fabinho scored his first UCL goal for the Reds, and what a big one it was in the 62nd minute, giving them the 3-2 lead on aggregate.

Five minutes after that low strike trickled past Geronimo Rulli, Diaz headed home a Trent Alexander-Arnold cross to end Cinderella's time at the ball.

Mane cemented the win with a nifty solo finish 16 minutes from time.

A common theme on all three Liverpool goals was the poor execution by goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli and his defenders, making it too easy for their visitors, who came to life when it mattered most.

As a result, Liverpool now await Manchester City or Real Madrid in the final, with those two playing their semifinal second leg on Wednesday.

Credit: cbssport


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