To kick off the first leg of the Europa League semi-finals, Liverpool FC are due to take on Villarreal. A challenge for Jürgen Klopp, who is yet to bring home a UEFA win on Spanish soil. Both sides are entering the fray unbeaten, with our reds being the first team to have gone 12 games undefeated in a single UEFA Europa League campaign. Let us hope that the last four wins for Jürgen can afford us a victory on Spanish turf, and give him something worth smiling about.
Since a friendly match ending 0-0, in 2008, Villarreal and Liverpool have never faced off in a UEFA Club competition. Although “The Yellow Submarine”, did grace the shores of the Mersey in the summer of 2015, going up against the Reds’ nemesis’ Everton and came out on top in a 2-1 defeat. The Villarreal fans followed up this win by gracing The Cavern’s patrons with a rendition of the “Yellow Submarine” song, made famous by The Beatles, but the title of which is a nickname the supporters chose for their team in the late 60’s.
Liverpool fans are hopeful that 2016 could be the year to bring home a fourth UEFA Europa League title, with the second leg of this meet going down on home turf, and with Liverpool having remained undefeated at home this campaign. Villarreal yet to win at any of their last 10 matches against Premier League opponents, only adds to the high spirits of Liverpool supporters.
However a comment from Marcos Senna, former Villarreal player, sums up the reaction to the pairing with UEFA.com news “There are no favourites anymore”, and with Cedric Bakambu, Villarreal star forward, being on top form, Klopp knows what lies ahead. Hopes are pinned on Simon Mingolet, having not missed a minute of play since group stages began, being on his game for this meeting.
To credit the Spanish side, The Bastion Bar & Restaurant, will be serving up a feast of the ever present footy food staple, meat and potato pie, but with a twist of Española. Supplied by Homebaked Anfield, a socially enterprising local bakery, the usual meat and potato filling will be substituted with a chorizo, Spanish meatballs, and patatas bravas creation. All profits of which are invested back into the local community.
Combine this with a free drink and a seat in The Bastion Bar, you’ve found the ideal surrounding to watch this clash play out. To book your seat call 0151 601 8801.