It was not the best of nights for Super Eagles winger Samuel Chukwueze, as he was caged in Villarreal’s 2-0 loss to Liverpool at Anfield in Wednesday’s Champions League first leg tie.
Chukwueze was the hero for Villarreal in the second leg quarter-final clash against Bayern after netting the equalizer which sent his side into the last four.
But it was a night to forget at Anfield following a dominant display by the Reds which saw Chukwueze and his teammates failing to create anything meaningful.
After a frustrating outing, he was eventually replaced by Unai Emery who brought on Boulaye Dia.
And after a dominating first half which ended goalless an own goal by Pervis Estupinan and a Sadio Mane strike earned Liverpool the deserved win, putting Jurgen Klopp’s side on course for their third European Cup final in five seasons.
Villarreal defended in numbers in the first half to frustrate the six-times European Cup winners, with Thiago Alcantara going closest to breaking the deadlock with a thunderous strike from distance that hit the post.
Liverpool turned it up a notch after the break and moments after Brazilian midfielder Fabinho had seen one effort ruled out for offside, Jordan Henderson’s cross was deflected into his own net by Estupinan to break Villarreal’s resistance on 53 minutes.
Able to express themselves with the deadlock broken, Mohamed Salah threaded a sublime pass through for Mane to put the game beyond the visitors in the 55th minute.
The reverse fixture will take place in Spain next week Tuesday.
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