Alexander-Arnold and Klopp warn Liverpool over Villarreal complacency

‘They play up to the underdog… complacency cannot slip in’: Trent Alexander-Arnold urges Liverpool to remain focused in their crunch clash against Villarreal, while Jurgen Klopp admits ‘we have to be ready to suffer’

  • Liverpool beat Villarreal in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie 
  • But Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jurgen Klopp have warned against complacency
  • Klopp says it is only ‘half-time’, while Alexander-Arnold praised their opponents 
  • The Reds will look to reach the final when they play the second leg tomorrow 

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jurgen Klopp have both insisted that Liverpool will be out to avoid complacency in their decisive Champions League clash against Villarreal, despite them taking a two-goal lead with them to Spain.

The Reds were able to break down Unai Emery’s stubborn side in the first leg of their semi-final showdown to place one foot in the final, but they will face one more stern test of their trophy-winning credentials for the return clash tomorrow.

Boss Klopp says it is only ‘half-time’ in the tie and expects Villarreal to attack them with ‘all they have’, while Alexander-Arnold warned ‘anything can happen in football’. 

Trent Alexander-Arnold has warned Liverpool against slipping into complacency in Villarreal

The Reds put one foot in the Champions League final after winning the first leg 2-0 at Anfield

Speaking in their pre-match press conference, the defender said: ‘They’re a top quality side who can beat world-class teams.

‘We’ve seen that with Juventus and Bayern Munich. They play up to the underdog so we cannot get complacent. An old cliche, only half-time. 

‘The next goal is vital in this tie.’

He went on to add: ‘We want to go there and win. We know we can’t be silly and get drawn into how they want to play, but we want to make sure we get through. 

Defender Alexander-Arnold insists it is crucial for his team-mates to remain level-headed

‘It’s a good lead but at the same time, it’s dangerous. Complacency cannot slip in.’

Emery has revealed that his men will attempt to play on the front foot with their home crowd roaring them on, and his players have refused to rule out a comeback.

As a result, Liverpool will be forced to work to reach their third final in five seasons.

Questioned on whether the job was already done, Klopp played down the suggestion and is remaining level-headed, regardless of the prize at stake. 

Jurgen Klopp highlighted the importance of maturity and said he expects his side to ‘suffer’ 

‘If I was younger I’d have been really angry with the question!’ he said.

‘Of course, no. It’s only half-time. We have to go there and try to win, knowing they (Villarreal) will go with all they have.’

He has also called for his players to follow his example, adding: ‘Maturity and experience is important but not the only decisive thing. 

‘Everything that we are is required tomorrow night.

Jordan Henderson’s cross into the box led to an own goal, giving Liverpool lift off in the first leg

‘We have to be ready to play a top, top game. They will try to play much more football than we allowed them in the first game.

‘Unai will try to adapt a few things. It will be really interesting. Maturity is important but not the only thing.’

Last time out, Liverpool beat Newcastle 1-0 in front of the baying stands at St James’ Park, and their manager is keen for them to remain on the same track.

‘We have to be ready to suffer,’ he said. ‘Not being a goal down – which can happen – but giving the game the right direction.

Unai Emery has revealed his underdogs will attack their opponents more at their home ground

‘A good example was Newcastle. The crowd was very passionate but we didn’t let it happen, which was the biggest quality for this game.

‘It wasn’t a show of football brilliance. Of course we could have scored more goals but how clear-cut the performance was was incredible.

‘Yes we have to be emotional, ready to play the best game ever, but knowing it will not happen in moments.

‘Suffering doesn’t mean you suffer for long, you suffer and [clicks fingers] react.’

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