5.9k Share this
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp praises 'world class' Unai Emery ahead of Villarreal showdown
The two coaches go head-to-head in the Champions League semi-final (Pictures: Getty)

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has praised counterpart Unai Emery and his Villarreal team ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final first-leg clash and insists the Merseysiders will not be taking their opponents lightly.

The Carabao Cup winners might have expected to be facing Bayern Munich at this stage of the competition but the Bavarians were stunned in the quarter-final by last year’s Europa League winners Villarreal, who won 2-1 on aggregate.

Even though the Spanish side are only seventh in La Liga, Klopp believes they are an excellent team perfectly suited to European football and will not allow his Liverpool side to become complacent – something both Bayern and last-16 victims Juventus may have been guilty of.

Villarreal beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League
Villarreal stunned both Bayern and Juve in the knockouts (Picture: Getty)

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Klopp said: ‘Of course we did the proper analysing. I had a lot of respect for Unai Emery and Villarreal before, because I saw the games obviously – but only with one eye against Bayern, Juve a little bit.

‘Meanwhile, I watched them properly and… wow! Impressive. Unai is obviously – or at least it looks like it when you watch his team – a detail-obsessed manager who prepares for all different situations in a game and that’s what his teams execute.

‘It’s really, really good. Different ways to build-up, different ways to press, different ways to react on different results. Really, really impressive.

‘And obviously Unai is a world-class coach and is doing an incredible job there.

‘Saying that, the good thing about all this analysis is that we are not involved in the games, which is where we have to fit in us and our job has to be that we make life as difficult as possible for them as well and that’s what we’ll try to do over these two legs.’

He continued: ‘We face a very difficult opponent, that’s true. They are made for this competition, to be 100 per cent honest. The way they set up is really, really good.

‘I think there might have been a little advantage [for them] in the last two games in that Juve or maybe Bayern underestimated them, but these kind of things never happened to us.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp praises 'world class' Unai Emery ahead of Villarreal showdown
Klopp feels Villarreal represent a massive test for Liverpool (Picture: Getty)

‘Especially after the last four games there is no chance [of underestimating them] anymore, so this little advantage might have gone.

‘But apart from that they are still a really, really good football team who obviously wants to make history as well.

‘I think it would be the first time that they would go to the [Champions League] final, which would be a massive thing for Villarreal I can imagine. But it is for us the same importance, we want to go there with all we have and that’s what we have to show tomorrow night.’

MORE : Alisson Becker caught mocking Jordan Pickford during Liverpool’s win against Everton

MORE : Jurgen Klopp claims Liverpool expected Jordan Pickford’s timewasting tactics after beating Everton

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

Follow Metro Sport for the latest news on
FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Source: Metro Sport

5.9k Share this
You May Also Like

Gabriel Jesus gives Arsenal hope over transfer despite Champions League blow | Football

Arsenal have already opened talks to sign Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City…

Rangers lose Europa League final to Eintracht Frankfurt as Aaron Ramsey misses in penalty shootout | Football

Aaron Ramsey missed his penalty as Eintracht Frankfurt beat Rangers to win…

Newcastle: Fabian Schar knocked out following sickening collision with Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah

Fabian Schar is KNOCKED OUT following sickening collision with Eddie Nketiah, with…

Divock Origi set to swap Liverpool for AC Milan after agreeing personal terms | Football

Divock Origi has agreed a move to Serie A (Picture: Getty Images)…

Barcelona striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 32, retires from international football with Gabon

Barcelona striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 32, retires from international football as Gabon’s all-time leading…

Arsenal’s Champions League collapse will leave them trapped in the same vicious cycle this summer

The irony in Bruno Guimaraes slamming the Champions League door in Arsenal’s…

Manchester City set to rival Man United to sign £60m-rated Kalvin Phillips | Football

Kalvin Phillips is a summer target for Manchester City and Manchester United…

Manchester United issue warning to Barcelona in talks to sign Frenkie de Jong | Football

Manchester United are in talks to sign Frenkie De Jong from Barcelona…