“We want to compete against the UCL favourites”
“We want to compete against the UCL favourites”

Unai Emery underlined that the team is working hard to try and face the best Liverpool side of recent years

Villarreal CF head coach Unai Emery appeared in front of the media to analyse the historic match against Liverpool FC, corresponding to the second leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-finals, which will take place this Wednesday, at 9pm CEST at Anfield. Below are the standout quotes from the Basque head coach:

Excitement to face the favourites

“We want to compete well against Liverpool, who are the favourites. They have a great project, one that is now well consolidated, under the leadership of Jürgen Klopp. We want to compete with a lot of excitement, be at our best and be at the level that semi-finals like this need.”

Deserved semi-finals

“Against Juventus and Bayern we were able to surprise them. Now it’s tougher. We’ve got here because we’ve earned the right to do so. They respect us and they know that we are here because we’ve done impressive things against strong rivals. That doesn’t stop them from being favourites because they’ve got a great team, but they will respect us. It’s tougher for us, but we’re also more excited. We have to be clinical.”

The best Liverpool of the Klopp era

“I think Liverpool are much improved. They have moments of footballing excellency. They’re a team who run very well, and they play with a lot of intensity. Now, they are also capable of playing in tight spaces, with players like Thiago, Mané or Luis Diaz. They’ve grown a lot and they’ve brought in important players who have given them a great level of playing, a lot of energy and a lot of ability to slow things down too. They’re a team who have the resources to play well against teams who defend with a low block.”

Focused on the game plan

“We’re are going into the UEFA Champions League semi-finals with a lot of naturality. It’s more difficult, but we’re working on performing at our best, so you can see Villarreal and its footballers at their best. We’re focused on the game, not on everything that surrounds it. We’re focused on preparing for it, the plan, and the execution of the game, knowing that they are semi-finals and that we’re facing the big favourites to win the UEFA Champions League. We want to be ourselves and be protagonists on the pitch.”