Liverpool defeated Villarreal 3-1 on aggregate in their Europa League semifinal to set up a date with the defending champion, Sevilla.
The Spanish side won the title a total of four times, 2006, 2007, 2014 and 2015. They defended their title twice. Now, they look to defend it twice in a row, becoming the first side to win it three seasons running. They are already the most successful club in the competition, but completing this feat will put them miles ahead.
The appointment of Jurgen Klopp has instilled a new spirit of fight, dedication, belief, desire and professionalism into the Liverpool roster. He has a way of bringing out the very best in his squad and it has shown tremendously.
Their best accomplishment to date in the Europa League was bouncing back from an early second-half deficit of 3-1 against Borussia Dortmund to win 4-3. That brought them to the semifinal where they once again finished the job on home soil. That type of belief and fight is what carries this team to these relocated heights.
Liverpool won the UEFA Cup three times before and will look to make it their first Europa League (new name for the tournament) to make it a total of four titles, matching Sevilla. They most recently won back in 2001 before playing two Champions League finals in 2005 and 2007. Both games were played against AC Milan against whom they won the first one in stunning comeback fashion before being shut out in 2007.
With their 4-2-3-1 formation, the team is lethal on the counter, possession and chance-creation. Every single field-player is in sync with one another as they each take their responsibilities head on. The players work for the team and it truly shows.
One player who arrived as recently as last summer and already captains the team is James Milner. When it comes to hard work, the 30-year-old English international is by far the hardest-working. If it wasn’t impressive enough that he gets quite a few assists, the fact that he covers most ground to fill in gaps and make sure every teammate is completing their job nearly to perfection. He never complains – just does what he is supposed to as captain: lead the team by working the hardest.
Under Klopp, his performance has picked up even more (as if it really had to).
Sevilla is a worthy Europa League champion, but Liverpool has it all to prove this season as they are looking to win their first title since 2005.