Jurgen Klopp sends message to Unai Emery ahead of Liverpool FC v Villarreal
Jurgen Klopp looks ahead to Liverpool FC's Champions League semi-final clash with Villarreal later this month
Jurgen Klopp has described Unai Emery as “the king of cups” after his Liverpool FC side were pitted against Villarreal in the Champions League semi-finals.
The Merseyside outfit secured their place in the last four of Europe’s elite club competition on Wednesday night thanks to a 3-3 draw with Benfica at Anfield, a result which handed Klopp’s men a 6-4 aggregate victory.
Villarreal sealed their spot in the semi-finals a day earlier after having knocked out Bayern Munich with a 2-1 aggregate victory in the quarter-finals.
Liverpool FC will now host Villarreal in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final clash at Anfield on Wednesday 27 April, before the return leg in Spain on 3 May.
Reds boss Klopp has now insisted that his side are set for a tough ask against a Villarreal side who have already dumped Bayern Munich and Juventus out of this season’s competition.
Asked about facing Villarreal in the semis, Klopp said on BT Sport on Wednesday night: “If I could do an analysis of Villarreal right now that would be very strange.
“I saw the results, the game was very impressive. I only picked up pieces but to beat Juventus and Bayern Munich they deserve to be in the Champions League semi-finals.
“Unai Emery is the king of the cups, it is unbelievable what he is doing. But give me a bit of time to prepare it properly.”
Later, at his post-match news conference, Klopp warned his side that they are set for a “tough” game against Emery’s men.
“Tough, tough, tough, tough,” Klopp said when asked about the showdown with the Spanish side. “Both games [against Bayern Munich], they deserved to get through.
“I didn’t analyse them because you watch the game and you try to figure out both teams with real quality. And Villarreal has probably the most successful cup-competition manager in world football, so he knows what he is doing. And the team is really strong.
“Two different approaches away and home – it’s clear that they defended at Munich even more than they did at Villarreal. It will be difficult. But it’s the semi-finals of the Champions League – if it wouldn’t be difficult then something would be really wrong.”
Liverpool FC will take on Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-finals at Anfield on Saturday afternoon.