Liverpool v Villarreal background

A late goal in Spain altered the complexion of the tie, with Liverpool now needing a win at home to have any hope of eliminating outsiders Villarreal.

Liverpool's Adam Lallana at the end of the first leg
Liverpool's Adam Lallana at the end of the first leg ©Getty Images

Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool FC will hope Anfield can inspire them once more as they look to retrieve a first-leg deficit in their UEFA Europa League semi-final against Villarreal CF.

Previous meetings
• Adrián López’s added-time finish earned Villarreal a 1-0 win in the home leg, which was the sides' first competitive meeting.

• The teams played a pre-season friendly in 2008, drawing 0-0 at El Madrigal.

Watch late Villarreal winner
Watch late Villarreal winner

• Liverpool's 33 UEFA games against Spanish opposition have ended W13 D10 L10 (W4 D6 L5 at Anfield – W7 D4 L5 in Spain). Those matches include two final victories on neutral territory: 1-0 against Real Madrid CF in the 1981 European Champion Clubs' Cup and 5-4 after extra time against Deportivo Alavés in the 2001 UEFA Cup.

• Villarreal's record in 14 UEFA fixtures against English clubs reads W4 D6 L4 (W3 D4 L1 at home – W1 D2 L3 in England). They were without a victory in their last ten encounters with Premier League opponents going into the first leg of this tie.

Form guide
• Liverpool were the only side to make it from the start of the group stage to matchday 12 unbeaten; however, following the first leg, it is Villarreal who are now 12 games without defeat.

• Liverpool lost to Beşiktaş JK on penalties in last year's round of 32 and to FC Zenit at the same stage of their previous UEFA Europa League adventure, in 2012/13. The 1973, 1976 and 2001 UEFA Cup winners last contested the semi-finals in 2009/10, succumbing to Club Atlético de Madrid.

• Villarreal's best previous campaigns in the competition ended in the semi-finals, where they were twice eliminated by eventual winners – Valencia CF in 2003/04 and FC Porto in 2010/11.

Links and trivia
• The journey from Villarreal to Liverpool is just shy of 950km.

• Villarreal's Cédric Bakambu has scored nine in this season's competition, leaving him second in the UEFA Europa League scoring chart behind Athletic Club's ten-goal Aritz Aduriz.

• Villarreal defender Víctor Ruiz and Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet are the only players left in the tournament who have played every minute of their teams' campaigns since the start of the group stage: 1,170 minutes in total.

Villarreal's Samuel Castillejo
Villarreal's Samuel Castillejo©AFP/Getty Images

• Villarreal's Samuel Castillejo remains the most fouled player in the 2015/16 competition, with 35 infringements against him from the group stage onwards.

• Villarreal's Denis Suárez has laid on six goals in this UEFA Europa League campaign, putting him top of the assists rankings. Suárez was an unused substitute for Sevilla FC as they beat FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in last season's final.

• Liverpool's José Enrique – who is not in their UEFA Europa League squad – played for Villarreal from 2006–07.

• Fellow Spaniard Alberto Moreno is registered to play in this competition; he featured against Villarreal once as a Sevilla player, a 0-0 home draw in May 2014.

• Villarreal's Antonio Rukavina played under Liverpool boss Klopp at Borussia Dortmund in 2008.

• Roberto Soldado faced Liverpool three times with Tottenham Hotspur FC. His Spurs side crashed 5-0 at home and 4-0 away to the Reds in 2013/14, and he figured again as Tottenham lost 3-2 at Liverpool the following season.

• Villarreal right-back Mario Gaspar scored a terrific goal as Spain prevailed 2-0 in a November 2015 friendly against England, who included Liverpool's Adam Lallana. Reds team-mate Nathaniel Clyne was an unused substitute in Alicante.

• Villarreal are the UEFA Europa League's highest-scoring club with 83 goals, and have also registered the most victories in the competition – 27, two more than Benfica and Sevilla.

• Of the semi-finalists, Villarreal are the only team never to win this competition; Liverpool (1973, 1976 and 2001), Sevilla (2006, 2007, 2014, 2015) and FC Shakhtar Donestk (2009) have eight successes between them.

Klopp: Reds deserved a draw
Klopp: Reds deserved a draw

The coaches
• Jürgen Klopp, 48, replaced Brendan Rodgers as Liverpool manager last October. His Dortmund outfit won the Bundesliga in 2010/11, scooped a double the next campaign and lost to FC Bayern München in the 2013 UEFA Champions League final.

• Klopp's record in 12 meetings with Spanish opposition (with 1. FSV Mainz 05, Dortmund and Liverpool) stands at W4 D3 L5. His sides have won their last four home games against Liga teams.

• Marcelino's career as a midfielder was curtailed early by injury. As a coach, the 50-year-old worked his way up the Spanish leagues, culminating in stints with Real Zaragoza, Real Racing Club Santander and Sevilla. He took over at Villarreal in 2013, guiding them to promotion in his first term.

Penalty shoot-outs
• Liverpool's record in four UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W3 L1:
W 4-2 N v AS Roma (1983/84 European Champion Clubs' Cup final)
W 3-2 N v AC Milan (2004/05 UEFA Champions League final)
W 4-1 H v Chelsea FC (2006/07 UEFA Champions League semi-finals)
L 5-4 A v Beşiktaş JK (2014/15 UEFA Europa League round of 32)

• Villarreal won their only previous UEFA penalty shoot-out:
W 3-1 A v Club Atlético de Madrid (2004 UEFA Intertoto Cup finals)

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