A deflected Jordan Henderson cross and a Sadio Mane strike in the space of two minutes early in the second half gave Liverpool a commanding 2-0 advantage to take into next Tuesday’s return encounter.
Unai Emery’s men were typically well-organised in defence, but offered very little going forward for the 3,000 visiting fans to get excited about.
The Spanish contingent didn’t seem overly disappointed, though, seemingly determined to enjoy their trip to Merseyside regardless of the result.
In getting the better of the likes of Juventus and Bayern Munich on their run to the last four, the La Liga underdogs had already exceeded the wildest expectations of the majority of their supporters.
However, talkSPORT’s Jason Cundy, though, wasn’t in the mood to give Villarreal any credit for past accomplishments when he launched into an astonishing post-match rant blasting their efforts.
In footage that has since gone viral, Cundy branded the Spanish outfit “a disgrace to the Champions League”, claiming that they were so poor going forward that Liverpool could have played a fan alongside Virgil van Dijk in defence and suffered no harm in terms of the scoreline.
“It was shocking. Disgraceful. That was a disgrace to the Champions League.
“I’ve got no idea how Villarreal have made it this far. Pathetic… I can’t believe what I’ve just witnessed in a semi-final.
“I reckon you could’ve had a fan alongside Van Dijk tonight.”
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Given that Liverpool are arguably the best side on the planet right now, Cundy’s comments seem harsh – and Villarreal’s official English language Twitter account wasn’t about to ignore the former England U21 international’s swipe.
The club’s fans were in fine voice throughout the day in Liverpool city centre and continued to fiercely back their team throughout the full 90 minutes of the match. The support didn’t wane at full-time either, with the entire away section standing to acknowledge their side’s efforts.
Villarreal’s social media team uploaded a video of their supporters enthusiastically cheering their players after the match, together with a caption that read: “Try telling these fans yesterday was a disgrace.
No prizes for guessing who that statement was aimed at.
You can check out the tweet – and standing ovation that the Villarreal fans gave their team – below.
Villarreal fire back at criticism of their performance v Liverpool in viral tweet
There’s no getting around the fact that Villarreal have a mountain to climb against Liverpool in the second-leg.
Despite their home advantage, it would be a major surprise if they are even able to force Jurgen Klopp’s side out of second gear at the Estadio de la Cerámica, let alone overturn a two-goal aggregate deficit.
Regardless of the result, however, Villarreal fans have made some European memories that will last a lifetime.
Cundy might not receive the warmest of welcomes next time he’s in the east of Spain.
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