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Unai Emery sent a message of support to Villarreal goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli after his second half meltdown in the 3-2 defeat to Liverpool on Tuesday night.
After losing 2-0 at Anfield in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final, the Spanish side had it all to do in the second clash but got off to the perfect start, leading 2-0 at half-time at home.
Things went downhill fast in the second half, though, with goals from Fabinho, Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane handing the Reds a 5-2 win on aggregate.
The first goal from Fabinho was a strike that went straight through Rulli, while Diaz’s header was also pretty much straight at the ‘keeper.
Rulli then had a rush of blood to the head as he rushed a long way out of his penalty area, missed the ball by a distance and allowed Mane to scamper through to complete the scoring.
Emery could not deny that his stopper had made blunders, but insisted he had full faith in him and he has had a tremendous campaign in general.
‘I shake hands with all my players at the end,’ Emery said after the contest. ‘He was disappointed of course because I think he believes that maybe the first goal he let it slip through his legs and maybe he could have done something else.
‘But Rulli is a goalkeeper who has played an exceptional season with a huge personality, mentally very strong.
‘Of course he will be sad tonight and I am sad tonight but he will feel some sort of part that maybe he could have done something better, he might feel that tonight but he has played a fantastic season.
‘I have no regrets, nothing to tell him off about. It is very complicated to pinpoint certain errors on the pitch and we put it all together as part of the team.’
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Source: Metro Sport