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Villarreal shock Bayern as potential semi-final opponents for Liverpool

If Liverpool make the Champions League semi-finals, they know they will take on either Villarreal or Bayern Munich, with the Spanish side holding the advantage.

The Reds earned a vital 3-1 lead in their quarter-final clash with Benfica on Tuesday night, as goals from Ibrahima Konate, Sadio Mane and Luis Diaz sealed the win in Lisbon.

There is still another leg to go, however, with the Portuguese outfit travelling to Anfield next week – though Liverpool will certainly now be considered favourites.

After the knockout draw last month, Jurgen Klopp‘s side also learned who they would face if they progress to the semi-finals.

Villarreal were pitted against Bayern Munich in the other tie, and they met in Castellon on Wednesday for the first leg, which ended with perhaps a surprise outcome.

Unai Emery’s Yellow Submarine have been hugely impressive throughout the tournament so far, and made another big step with a 1-0 home win over Bayern.

The goal came in the eighth minute through a player reportedly on Liverpool’s radar, Arnaut Danjuma, who turned in Dani Parejo’s initial effort after a free-flowing move down the right.

Villarreal had the ball in the back of the net again before half-time, as Francis Coquelin’s attempted cross sailed over Manuel Neuer and in, only for the ex-Arsenal midfielder to be ruled offside.

Gerard Moreno then struck the post with a stunning effort before being denied by a sliding Alphonse Davies, with the forward then hitting just wide from inside his own half after a calamitous error from Neuer.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 24, 2019: Arsenal's manager Unai Emery (R) shakes hands with Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Bayern were not without chances, but despite trailing in possession and shots on goal, Villarreal were undoubtedly the better side on the night.

Emery will now lead his players to the Allianz Arena on Tuesday, hoping his squad of familiar faces can pull off a dream feat and book their place in the semi-finals.

The Champions League semi-finals are scheduled to take place on April 26/27 and May 3/4, with the first leg landing between Liverpool’s meetings with Everton and Newcastle.

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