Manchester United were dealt a major blow to their UEFA Champions League hopes as they fell to an agonising 3-4 defeat against Copenhagen.
Villarreal will have one of the biggest nights in their history of the Estadio de la Ceramica when they meet Liverpool in the return leg of their Champions League semifinal on Tuesday.
Unai Emery’s men have a difficult Champions League task over overturning a 2-0 first leg deficit against Liverpool, who are arguably the favorites to win the competition.
The Spanish side were under pressure for almost all of the first leg in Anfield, managing just one shot on target all game as Liverpool threatened to swap them with their high pressing and quick movement.
However, the 2-0 score means that Villarreal retain their options and the Estadio de la Ceramica will be packed on Tuesday.
It looks unlikely that Emery will be able to call on Spain international striker Gerard Moreno for more than a cameo at best in the game after Moreno took no part in his side’s 2-1 defeat to struggling Alaves on Saturday, where the coach rested just about everyone who is likely to start on Tuesday, reports Xinhua.
“We have to try and win, but we have to play a great game in defense as well,” said Emery in his pre-game press conference in which he explained Moreno had trained on Monday, but that Arnaut Danjuma had not.
“We will see how they are tomorrow in our last session,” he said, adding that that left-back Alberto Moreno and winger Yeremi Pino are out.
“We are excited. The team is prepared mentally to play our game and to have our chances against the best team in the world and to live this moment with our people,” said Emery.
Liverpool meanwhile won 1-0 away to Newcastle United on Saturday with coach Jurgen Klopp resting players such as Thiago Alcantara, Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander Arnold and Fabinho for the trip to the north of England.
(Inputs from IANS)