Villarreal coach Unai Emery said that the team is facing a historic moment and that he hopes that his players will play the best this season in the return match of the Champions League semifinals against Liverpool and move on.
“We have a historic moment ahead of us. Our people are very proud. We played well at home. I hope that we will play our best this season in front of our fans and move on,” Emery said.
Villarreal players will play on Tuesday at 9 pm at home against Liverpool, the return match of the semifinals of the Champions League. In the first match last week at Anfield, Liverpool won 2-0.
Villarreal eliminated Juventus and Bayern Munich on the way to the semifinals. The Spanish team is seventh on the Primera table and will not be able to qualify for the Champions League next season. This season, she is playing in the strongest European competition, since she won the Europa League last season.
Villarreal has not played in the Champions League since the 2011/2012 season, and before that in 2005/2006 and 2008/2009. This is his third time playing the knockout phase, and in 2006 he also played in the semifinals.
Emery’s team has not lost at home for more than five months, since the defeat by Barcelona in November.
Liverpool is trying to reach the finals for the third time in the last five seasons. He was last eliminated from the knockout phase when he won his first game, in the 2001/2002 season, in the quarterfinals against Bayer Leverkusen.
The English club has won all five games on the away field this season in the Champions League.
It is uncertain whether Emery will be able to count on Raul Albiol, Gerard Moreno and Arno Gruneveld. The match will surely be missed by Eremi Pino due to a muscle injury.
“We are very motivated to play in the semifinals of the Champions League at home. We want to enjoy this moment with our fans,” Emery said.