UEFA Europa League semifinals Liverpool vs. Villarreal live commentary
Welcome to ESPN FC's live match commentary from Thursday's Europa League semifinal second legs, Liverpool vs. Villarreal and Sevilla vs. Shakhtar Donetsk. Please refresh this page for the latest updates.
22:07 BST: There we have it then. Our 2016 Europa League final is all set, bringing together the three-time winners of this trophy Liverpool against a team who have won the competition for the last two years and who have landed it a record four times overall in Sevilla. May 18 can't come soon enough... Thanks for joining us tonight and see you next time.
22:03 BST: Adam Lallana to BT Sport: "We knew it was going to be a difficult night, but credit to the lads. We showed great guts. We deserved it and hopefully we can go to the final and win it."
22:00 BST: Daniel Sturridge to BT Sport: "The fans were top class and for the boys it was about soaking up the atmosphere and putting in a performance. We had to work our socks off tonight but in the end we were rewarded."
Full-time: Job done for Liverpool and in style as they advance to the Europa League final with relative ease in the end, dominating proceedings from the off and eventually scoring three goals -- through a Bruno own goal, Sturridge and Lallana -- to sweep aside Villarreal.
It's a first European final for the Reds since 2007 and they will come up against holders Sevilla, who have progressed past Shakhtar this evening thanks to a 3-1 win on the night and a 5-3 victory on aggregate. We're in for some game there...
90': Three minutes of stoppage time set to be played at Anfield... Liverpool have made two more substitutions, meanwhile, with Benteke taking to the field to replace Firmino and Sturridge making way for Lucas.
88': A chance for Liverpool to add further gloss to the scoreline late on as Sturridge is played through on goal, but he's unable to find a way past Areola, who makes a good stop. The ball runs loose to substitute Allen, but the Liverpool midfielder can only turn his effort wide of the target.
85': Five minutes plus stoppage time remaining at Anfield... Just to clarify, Villarreal now need two goals if they want to advance to the final, but barring catastrophe at the back for Liverpool, that is looking very unlikely based on how the rest of this night has gone.
3-0 Liverpool. Villarreal all over place at back again and Lallana taps in from close range. That should do it now...- Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) May 5, 2016
81': GOAL for Liverpool! And there is that third goal which has surely now killed off the tie. Firmino does well to swing a delivery across the face of goal which Sturridge miskicks, but there is Lallana unmarked to turn the ball home from just a few yards out. What a night it's been for the Reds.
81': Liverpool are still looking for a third goal, which would kill of this tie, as Sturridge has a dig from the edge of the area only to send his strike over the bar. He follows that up with another effort a few moments later, but once more he fails to hit the target. We're into the final 10 minutes at Anfield now...
77': We're into the final 15 minutes at Anfield now where the game is finely poised. Liverpool have dominated this clash and are currently set to progress to the final -- but one goal from 10-man Villarreal would change all of that. It's getting tense...
CB Bonera on for wideman Dos Santos. Villarreal gotta try and hang in and nick one from somewhere...- Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) May 5, 2016
72': But Liverpool's task has been made all the easier now as Villarreal have just been reduced to 10 men. Victor Ruiz is the man to receive his marching orders after picking up a second yellow card for a foul on Lallana. The away side have responded by making a third and final change with Bonera replacing Dos Santos.
70': Villarreal, who brought on Trigueros for Pina a little earlier, have now made their second change of the game as Adrian Lopez comes on to replace Soldado. Plenty of time left for the visitors to find the goal that would take them through to the final. That is given they don't concede another, of course...
In many ways, Sturridge's goal does not change Villarreal's task for the evening.- John Brewin (@JohnBrewinESPN) May 5, 2016
67': It's nearly three for Liverpool as they pile forward again with Firmino doing brilliantly to turn past his man before picking out Moreno on the edge of the box. The full-back takes a touch before striking at goal, but his effort drifts just past the post. Anfield is rocking now, but Villarreal still only need one goal to advance on away goals. The Reds need to manage the remainder of this game carefully...
63': GOAL for Liverpool! And there's the second for Liverpool -- and this time Sturridge has got his goal. The opener went down as an own goal, but this one hasn't as the striker latches onto Firmino's deflected shot before slotting the ball past Areola. Anfield erupts.
59': GOAL for Sevilla! It's another goal for the hosts, who look like they could be on their way to the final now. Mariano picks up the ball on the edge of the box before rifling it into the bottom corner with a great hit. Shakhtar need two goals to head through on away goals...
57': Villarreal win a free-kick in a dangerous position and they nearly make the most of it, with Soldado connecting with the ball into the box, only to head just wide of the target. Anfield seem just a little nervy, knowing that one goal from the visitors would leave their side in real trouble and needing to score two more.
51': If this second half continues the way it's started then we're in for a real treat as now it's the turn of Liverpool to come close to scoring. Firmino plays the ball to Milner who then beats his man on the edge of the box before firing a low strike at goal -- but it's an effort that was never really causing Areola too much trouble. Sturridge then has a go moments later, but the Villarreal keeper is on hand to make the stop.
48': GOAL for Sevilla! Sevilla are back in front over in Spain and it's that man Gameiro who finds the back of the net again, rounding the keeper before slotting home in style. The hosts now lead 2-1 and 4-3 on aggregate.
46': We're back under way at Anfield where Villarreal have kicked off this second half -- and it was nearly just the perfect start for the visitors. Bakumbu looked all set to pull the trigger right in front of goal, only for Lovren to appear with a super sliding challenge to steal the ball at the last second.
20:58 BST: A reminder that the other Europa League semifinal this evening, between Sevilla and Shakhtar Donetsk, is currently 1-1 on the night and 3-3 on aggregate after Eduardo cancelled out Gameiro's early opener. Sevilla will go through on away goals if it stays like this...
Liverpool 1-0 (1-1 agg.) Villarreal HT:- Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 5, 2016
Chances created: 5-4
Pass accuracy: 80%-76% pic.twitter.com/ZB1Ovap8IO
Excellent first half from Liverpool. Away goal danger still exists but more of the same and the final beckons.- Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) May 5, 2016
Half-time: A scare for Liverpool just before the break as Bakambu gets away from his marker but is unable to find a way past Mignolet. Apart from that chance and an early one for the visitors, the hosts have dominated this clash, leading on the night through an own goal from Bruno. It's all square on aggregate, though, meaning it's all to play for in the second half at Anfield.
45': GOAL for Shakhtar! The Ukrainian side have made it 1-1 on the night as Eduardo levels proceedings in Spain with a neat first-time finish. It's 3-3 on aggregate in that one now, with Sevilla currently set to advance on away goals.
Referee Victor Kassai shouldnt really be affected by atmosphere... did 2011 Champs League final, was at 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012...- Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) May 5, 2016
41': Villarreal struggling to keep hold of the ball when they do get it, often giving it away quite cheaply. Liverpool looking to attack at every opportunity but they're currently short of a few ideas when they do reach the final third. We've also had another yellow card with Soldado being cautioned for a foul on Coutinho.
36': It's started to get rather feisty as tackles are flying in thick and fast now. The referee refuses to bring out a card after blowing for a few fouls in quick succession, before Nathaniel Clyne eventually enters the book for a badly-timed challenge. Ten minutes or so remaining until half-time...
31': That brief bit of composure from Villarreal seemed to be something of an anomaly in this game as the momentum is now well and truly back on Liverpool's side. Coutinho first sees a strike from distance deflect wide, before Lovren then has a header saved by Areola. Victor Ruiz, meanwhile, has picked up a booking. Villarreal look a little rattled.
Liverpool have won an impressive 78% of their tackles in the opening stages against Villarreal.- Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 5, 2016
Strong start. pic.twitter.com/8OlkEdA0By
26': Saying all that, Liverpool are continuing to pile on some more pressure and could well have been two goals to the good if not for Pina. The Villarreal midfielder arrived on the scene to clear a Reds corner at the far post just as Emre Can had looked set to knock the ball into the back of the net.
23': This is a better spell from Villarreal currently, with the La Liga side seeing the ball in Liverpool's half for more of a sustained period than they had managed previously. In doing, so they're giving their defence a little breather as they've been made to work hard right from kick-off, as well as killing the Reds' momentum.
18': Liverpool looking, of course, for the goal that would edge them ahead in this tie, but they need to be careful they don't leave themselves too exposed at the back. Villarreal have looked a threat when they have managed to counter-attack and an away goal here for the Spaniards could be fatal for Jurgen Klopp's side.
The moment we drew the tie level... pic.twitter.com/fCZ79OsuTj- Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 5, 2016
13': That goal, as you would expect, has given Liverpool plenty of confidence as they pour forward at every opportunity. The Reds see a penalty appeal turned town, before Lallana then just fails to get the required touch to divert Milner's pass into the back of the net. Mighty close, that.
9': GOAL for Sevilla! We've had a goal over in Spain too as Kevin Gameiro has just fired Sevilla into the lead, slotting calmly past the Shakhtar keeper after being played in on goal. Sevilla now 3-2 ahead on aggregate in that one.
No matter what!!! THIS IS ANFIELD! LFC 1 vs Villareal 0. #YNWA- Luis Garcia (@LuchoGarcia14) May 5, 2016
7': GOAL for Liverpool! Villarreal almost just bagged the opener with Mignolet producing a good stop to keep them at bay -- but now Liverpool have just stormed into the lead. Firmino knocks the ball across the face of the goal and Sturridge attempts to force it in, with his effort touched in by Bruno along the way. All square on aggregate now. Game on.
Cmon Liverpool get in there tonight.- Craig Burley (@CBurleyESPN) May 5, 2016
3': It's been a pretty bright start from Liverpool and nearly a shocking one from Villarreal goalkeeper Areola. He goes to collect a Firmino cross into the box, only to spill it in front of Lallana before recovering just in time to smother the ball. Lucky boy.
1': We're now up and running at Anfield as Liverpool get this Europa League semifinal second leg under way. One of these teams are not very far off reaching the final now. Here we go...
20:02 BST: The two sides are currently making their way out onto the Anfield pitch where there is an electric atmosphere. Kick-off is just moments away...
12 - Villarreal are unbeaten in 12 European games (W9 D3), keeping seven clean sheets in that time. Force.- OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 5, 2016
19:58 BST: Liverpool will be looking to reach their first European final in nine years tonight, with their last showpiece event being the Champions League final defeat to AC Milan back in 2007. As for Villarreal -- the highest-scoring side left in this season's Europa League with 23 goals -- they've never reached a European final in their history.
19:54 BST: Back on Merseyside, the Liverpool fans should be up for it tonight if this shot of them outside Anfield a little earlier is anything to go by...
What a welcome by our incredible fans! pic.twitter.com/2zTmmUeBW1- Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 5, 2016
19:50 BST: We'll also keep you updated on the goings-on in the other last-four clash -- Sevilla v Shakhtar Donetsk.
It's 2-2 from the first leg and here's how both teams will be lining up...
Sevilla: Soria, Mariano, Rami, Carrico, Tremoulinas, Krychowiak, N'Zonzi, Coke, Banega, Vitolo, Gameiro.
Shakhtar: Pyatov, Srna, Kucher, Rakitskyy, Ismaily, Malyshev, Stepanenko, Marlos, Kovalenko, Taison, Eduardo.
The Reds have arrived at Anfield. Come on!! pic.twitter.com/Xjc2EVwkkh- Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 5, 2016
19:46 BST: Kick-off is at 2005 BST, but in the meantime, here are the two starting line-ups to keep you occupied...
Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Toure, Lovren, Moreno, Can, Milner, Lallana, Firmino, Coutinho, Sturridge.
Villarreal: Areola, Mario, Musacchino, Victor, Costa, Dos Santos, Pina, Bruno, Suarez, Soldado, Bakambu.
19:45 BST: Are we set for another one of those special Anfield nights? Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool will sure be hoping so...
The Reds entertain Villarreal this evening for their Europa League semifinal second-leg clash, with the Spanish side leading 1-0 from the first game -- and you can follow all the action LIVE right here.