Marcelino has claimed that Liverpool “came for a draw” after Villarreal’s 1-0 victory over the Reds in the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday.
Adrian Lopez’s first goal of the season in Europe handed Villarreal the initiative in their last-four tie with Liverpool ahead of next week’s return leg at Anfield, and Marcelino was adamant his side were the better team on the night.
“We were fortunate to get a very good result, but we’re very proud of how the team played and I think the result is fair. We didn’t win by chance,” the Coach said after the game.
“We knew this tie would be different to the one against Sparta [Prague] as it presented the possibility of making history against a great team.
“The match was always going to be tight, but we were effective. We scored a goal, but we had several chances [to score more].
“We left our opponents with few chances of scoring a goal. They came for a draw.
“They will be hoping for a different outcome at Anfield. There, they are very intense in attack.
“For us, I don’t think there will be much difference. We’ll have to defend well and press high.
“The more players go forward, the less there are at the back. We’ll have to defend very well.
“When you play at this level, the first half is more tactical than the second.
“Liverpool showed a lot of respect for Villarreal and that extols my players and their work in the Europa League.
“The second half was normal. They tried to stop our counterattacks. I don’t know what they’ll do [at Anfield], but we won’t change our idea.
“[On Spanish teams beating English equivalents], I don’t know why that is.
“The Spanish League is very competitive, but I don’t know if it’s more or less so than the Premier League.”