Dejan Lovren hoping for smoother ride against Villarreal as Liverpool look to turn deficit around

Dejan Lovren

Dejan Lovren joined manager Jurgen Klopp to preview the second leg of Liverpool's Europa League semi-final against Villarreal.

Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren has said he wants the side to progress to the final of the Europa League in a smoother way than they made it to the semi-finals.

The Reds were two goals down inside eight minutes against Borussia Dortmund in the quarter-finals of the competition, but they fought back to win 4-3, with Lovren getting the stoppage-time winner to ensure the Reds' place in the last four. 

That night, however, the Reds were going into the game having drawn the first leg 1-1, and this time they have to overturn a slender 1-0 deficit against Villarreal, a result of Adrian Lopez's strike in stoppage time at El Madrigal.

Lovren told reporters at the press conference previewing the game, as cited by the Liverpool Echo: “We don’t want to repeat this game. We want it to go smoothly.

“I will remember it for my lifetime. It was a historical game for us. For me and for the fans. We showed our character and we will never stop believing.

"The fans, they are expecting a massive game, but we will take it smarter than the last time. It will be a great season if we can go to the final and win it.”

Despite their opponents having a slender lead, Lovren believes he will be part of a side that will have enough opportunities tomorrow night at Anfield to book a place in the Europa League final in Basel later this month.

He added: "We were disappointed to concede in last minute. We need to be clever & patient. We will have our chances. I believe in this team. We can save this season with the final.”

The season really does hinge on tomorrow night's game for Liverpool. If they progress then they have a cup final to look forward to with the possibility of both silverware and Champions League football next season. Otherwise, it could be an underwhelming end to their campaign.

If the Reds progress they have a chance to make it a memorable season despite a stuttering league campaign, and the opportunity to win silverware should not be underestimated. Liverpool will be eager to put a trophy in the cabinet after coming so close to another prize earlier in the season in the League Cup, which they lost on penalties to Manchester City.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch