Liverpool Shows Its Patience, Persistence, Power to Reach Cusp of Champions League Final

The Reds are a step away from returning to the European title match after surviving the Villarreal experience with a relentlessness that was ultimately rewarded.

After all the goals and drama of Manchester City’s 4-3 win over Real Madrid in the first leg of the first Champions League semifinal on Tuesday

Liverpool’s 2-0 victory over Villarreal a day later perhaps felt a little anti-climactic.

But a little calm is no bad thing and if this is, as it should be, a precursor to a Champions League final, few of a red persuasion will be too concerned.

This was a thoroughly comprehensive win from a side that, after a slight dip following the international break, is back at the top of its game.

The idea of a first XI is perhaps a little old-fashioned, but a pattern is emerging in Jürgen Klopp’s selections.

He has described this as the best squad he has ever worked with, and there is an emerging sense that for the first time in well over a decade

Liverpool’s squad might outstrip that of Man City. But in big games in Europe, Klopp tends to opt for Ibrahima