'They are the best team in the world': Villarreal boss Unai Emery heaps praise on Liverpool and knows his side will 'have to play the perfect game' in the Champions League semi-final second leg
- Villarreal will face Liverpool in the Champions League semi-final second leg
- The Reds sealed a 2-0 win over the LaLiga side in the first-leg of the tie at Anfield
- Gerard Moreno and Arnaut Danjuma will be late fitness decisions for Villarreal
Villarreal coach Unai Emery said his side would have to play the perfect game to beat the team he called ‘the best in the world’ in the Champions League semi-final second leg.
One reporter reminded Emery that Liverpool had only lost three times all season and asked him about the prospect of having to do what no team has managed so far this campaign and beat Liverpool by two clear goals.
‘We have to play the perfect game,' he said adding with a smile, 'you have done your research well. We knew about their record but I wasn’t going to mention it.
Villarreal coach Unai Emery said his side would have to play the perfect game to beat Liverpool
‘We have to reach a level of excellence. And yes, you’re right, do something that no one has done.
‘They are the best team in the world and they play with a certain superiority and confidence.’
Emery called on Villarreal supporters to do their best to emulate the atmosphere at Anfield, and on his players to produce the kind of stellar performance he witnessed from Thiago Alcantara in the first leg.
Emery called on Villarreal supporters to do their best to emulate the atmosphere at Anfield
Emery said: ‘Thiago played a tremendous game. He was man of the match. If the man of the match is a Liverpool player again then I’m sure we will be out.
'But if it’s one of ours, then we have a chance. The home advantage was very important for them and we hope it gives us a bit of an advantage too.’
The Spanish coach was also asked about two European comebacks that he had been on the right and wrong side of.
He was more comfortable answering a question about a 3-0 home win for Arsenal over Stade Rennes in 2019 that helped overturn a 3-1 first leg defeat, than he was about Paris Saint Germain’s famous capitulation against Barcelona, losing 6-1 in the second leg and 6-5 on aggregate in 2017.
Of the win over Rennes he said: ‘It’s true that they are certain parallels from that game but the fact that it’s Liverpool makes it far more difficult.’
Boss Emery will have to wait to make a late decision on the fitness of his favoured front two pairing Gerard Moreno (left) and Arnaut Danjuma (right)
The Villarreal coach said he would wait to make a late decision on the fitness of his favoured front two pairing Gerard Moreno and Arnaut Danjuma.
Moreno missed the first leg but did train with team-mates on Monday.
Emery did confirm that Spain international forward Yeremy Pino was definitely out.
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