Lo Celso: Villarreal reach Champions League and sow ‘no small things’

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Giovani Lo Celso expressed pain at Villarreal’s elimination in the Champions League semi-finals following their 3-2 defeat to Liverpool on Tuesday.

Faced with the huge task of tipping a deficit of two goals after the first showdown at Anfield, the yellow submarine got a draw equalized after a breathtaking 45 minutes in El Madrigal via goals from Boulaye Dia and Francis Coquelin.

Liverpool finally settled after the break and the air effectively went out of the match as Fabinho’s shot snuck through Geronimo Rulli’s legs and in where the Reds continued to win 3-2.

Lo Celso, who were signed to Villarreal in January, believe the home crowd drove them to such a quick start, but their energy disappeared.

“The first impression is pain and sadness because we wanted to play the final,” Lo Celso told Movistar + after the match. “We had a very good first half where we cut off all circuits for those we pressed, we created situations, we led 2-0.

“The support from the fans who pushed us from the first minute gave us a huge boost.

“In the second half, it was hard for us to keep up with them, they started finding places and there they found the goals.”

Luis Diaz’s replacement of Diogo Jota at the break was transformative and Liverpool found another gear to eventually win in the 90 minutes and regain their lead overall.

Lo Celso believes Liverpool’s class eventually showed up, but was proud of his team-mates’ performance by reaching this far in the Champions League.

“It was a little hard for us to keep up with the rhythm in the first half,” he said. “They started controlling the game a little more, finding places and creating situations.

“In the second half, in ten minutes, the match escaped us, but I am proud of my teammates because it is not a small thing to reach the semifinals and even more against such a high-class opponent.”



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