Liverpool fans were understandably lauding the performances of several key players following victory over Villarreal last night.
Roberto Firmino, Emre Can and Daniel Sturridge were all on the receiving end of praise from the club’s supporters after their place in May 18’s Europa League final was confirmed.
However, one player arguably stood head and shoulders above the rest in what was another memorable Anfield night.
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Dejan Lovren has endured a difficult career on Merseyside since joining Liverpool from Southampton in 2013.
A combination of poor form and dreadful mistakes during his early days saw him become a punch line and fans call for his sale.
But following his inch-perfect display against Villarreal, supporters believe manager Jurgen Klopp has finally prised the best out of their Croation centre-back.
His vital challenge on Cedric Bakambu inside his own 18-yard box (see below) was just one of many tackles that sent Anfield into raptures.
Fans watching from home were similarly excited by Lovren’s performance, with one Twitter user even claiming Klopp had turned the 26-year-old into the new Mats Hummels - we’re not so sure about that one, though.
Even former striker Luis Garcia was singing Lovren’s praises.
The Europa League final now awaits Liverpool and it’s performances such as Lovren’s that will put them in good stead to lift their first European trophy since 2005.
And they could hardly have asked for more difficult opponents than La Liga’s Sevilla, who have won the competition in the last two seasons.
Manager Klopp wants nothing less than victory in Basel, though. The German was typically animated on the touchline throughout Liverpool’s victory and has his sights set on the trophy.
“When you perform like we did then you want to have it all and that is what we will try,” he said, per BBC Sport. “We will go there and try to do everything for this wonderful club.
“A lot of teams want to go to finals, it is not too easy, but it is a real opportunity and we will take the opportunity.
“In 2016, the team have shown a lot of times what they could be capable of in the future so that’s a good sign and that is more important for me as manager.”
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