'Best Liverpool Team': Pundits Heap Praise on Reds After Their Champions League Win Over Villarreal

CC BY 2.0 / cchana / Liverpool crest on the Shankly GatesLiverpool crest on the Shankly Gates
Liverpool crest on the Shankly Gates - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.04.2022
No side has ever won a quadruple in the history of British football. But Liverpool are on course to achieve the "unbelievable" feat. The Reds have already lifted the Carabao Cup and reached the FA Cup final. In the Premier League, they are a point shy of leaders Man City and on Wednesday, the Merseysiders put one foot in the Champions League final.
Former England internationals Rio Ferdinand, Michael Owen and Peter Crouch have all declared the current Reds as the best Liverpool team ever, after Jurgen Klopp's men put up a stellar show against Villarreal in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final at Anfield.
The Spanish outfit came into the match full of confidence, having already ousted the likes of Juventus and Bayern Munich in the Round of 16 and the quarterfinals.
But despite a spirited effort, Unai Emery's boys were no match for Liverpool as the hosts coasted through to a 2-0 triumph, giving the English heavyweights a massive advantage heading into next week's return leg in Spain.
The Merseyside club's utter dominance in the game can be gauged by the fact that they had 74 percent possession of the ball compared to Villarreal's 26. Additionally, they assailed the Spanish goal with 19 shots, the visitors only took one. While their five shots were on target, Raul Albiol and company had zero.
In football, passes are considered as the benchmark of a team's supremacy and Liverpool won the race hands down here as well as they recorded 737 passes to Villarreal's 272 in the match.
Yet Liverpool needed good fortune to get on the scoreboard in the contest as it was Pervis Estupinan's own goal which gave them a 1-0 lead in the 53rd minute.
No such luck, however, was needed for the next goal, as Sadio Mane produced a stunning strike from close range in the 55th minute to double the score in their favour.
From there on, it was all about sustaining the advantage, which the former Premier League champions did in style as they maintained their perfect record against the La Liga outfit at home.
Liverpool's performance was such that it simply blew the mind of Man United legend Ferdinand, who had no doubt in saying that football watchers could only "marvel" at their display.
"This is the best Liverpool team I have ever seen. They're relentless. It's the way that they press teams, the energy, the effort, the application. You sit here and just marvel at it," Ferdinand told BT Sport after the final whistle. "That [the quadruple] has got to be the aim. They are going to set themselves the target. If they achieve it they're immortal, they are above anyone that has played the game in this country. Whether they can achieve it remains to be seen. But they're ticking boxes along the way at the moment".
Liverpool icon Owen was equally in awe of Klopp's team.
"It's the best team I've ever seen in a red shirt. Imagine it[the quadruple]. It's impossible... but now you're thinking can it happen? The way they're playing, the belief, you're thinking can it happen?," Owen said in response to Ferdinand labelling the Reds as the best English team at the moment.
Ex-Liverpool forward Crouch agreed with both Ferdinand and Owen's remarks as he concurred that indeed the present Reds side was the greatest he has ever seen.
"I'd say so. Unfortunately I was too young for the teams of the 70s, this is the best I've seen. Villarreal are a good passing side, they weren't allowed a second or a moment to get a foothold in the game. I just thought the press was fantastic," he concluded.
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