Villarreal coach Emery: Loss of Moreno made difference

Villarreal coach Unai Emery was left frustrated after their Champions League semifinal defeat to Liverpool.

The 3-2 reverse saw Villarreal lose the tie 5-2 on aggregate.

Emery said, “The first part of the game was what we had talked about and planned for in our most optimistic scenarios. But we still ended up needing a little more. In fact we needed the perfect game – particularly defensively.

“The first half we really were exceptional. It was a display to truly give us hope. At half-time we knew Gerard Moreno was struggling and feeling his injury, but we really wanted to keep him on for as long as possible. But he couldn’t sprint. And our efforts lost force a little.

“We needed to be on the ball more, we needed to control possession. But in the second half we didn’t quite have the capacity to respond to a really impressive Liverpool.

“We’d even talked about how to handle it if Liverpool somehow got back to 2-2. But without Danjuma available and then without Gerard we lost a great deal. We didn’t have that capacity to fight back – we had fewer answers. But although we haven’t quite been able to take that last step to the final, we must continue on this path we are on.”

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