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MUNICH, GERMANY - APRIL 12: Players of Villarreal CF pose for a team photo prior to the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Leg Two match between Bayern München and Villarreal CF at Football Arena Munich on April 12, 2022 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Villarreal’s rotation fails as Jurgen Klopp makes quip about kick-off time!

Unai Emery rotated his squad for Villarreal’s LaLiga match between their two games against Liverpool, suffering a 2-1 defeat to Alaves on Saturday.

The Spaniards were also in action on Saturday lunchtime, with Jurgen Klopp quick to make the point to BT Sport in his post-match interview after the Reds’ 1-0 win at Newcastle.

Asked if attention now turned to Saturday night’s Man City match at Leeds, Klopp insisted “No, Villarreal,” before making a quip about the timing of their kick-off also:

“They are 2-1 down at the moment, they are playing as well at one o’clock, they have BT as well obviously there.

“That’s what I’m interested in, I didn’t think for a second about City but immediately about Villarreal.”

Emery made eight changes to the side, resting goalkeeper Rulli defenders Foyth, Albiol and Estupinan, midfielders Capoue, Coquelin and Lo Celso, and forward Danjuma.

The ‘Yellow Submarine’ went behind in the fourth minute, conceding off a corner, and then 2-0 behind just after the half-hour.

Samuel Chukwueze, one of three to keep his place, brought a goal back right after the half-time interval with a run down the right side and cutting inside on his left foot – the beneficiary of some exceptionally poor goalkeeping.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, April 13, 2022: Villarreal's head coach Unai Emery during the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg game between Liverpool FC and SL Benfica at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Emery made two subs at half-time and utilised his full five across the second half.

The Champions League semi-finalists are seventh in La Liga, with two wins in their last six league games, and are in danger of not qualifying for Europe next season.

Liverpool head to El Madrigal on Tuesday holding a 2-0 lead from the first leg.

Klopp himself also rotated with the two semi-final ties just six days apart, resting Mo Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Fabinho in the same game for the first time this season, plus Thiago and Ibrahima Konate.

Villarreal lineup vs. Alaves: Asenjo, Aurier, Pau, Parejo, Iborra, Chukwueze, M. Trigueros, Dia, Mandi, Moi Gomez, A. Pedraza

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