Five things learned about Liverpool as they progress to Europa League final

Anfield Kop

Liverpool made it through to the Europa League final after overturning a one-goal deficit from the first leg, progressing 3-1 on aggregate against Villarreal.

Liverpool made it through to their first European final in nine years with a 3-0 win in the second leg of their Europa League semi-final tie against Villarreal - sending Jurgen Klopp's side to Basel 3-1 on aggregate.

The Reds got off to a fast start, and had an element of good fortune courtesy of Bruno Soriano own goal. Liverpool had a couple of other opportunities in the first half as they gave a Villarreal side that were like a rabbit caught in the headlights a torrid time of things.

They had to wait until just after the hour mark to take a lead in the tie when some terrific anticipation from Daniel Sturridge - who capitalised on a Roberto Firmino miskick - to finish cooly with the help of the inside of the post. 

Adam Lallana rounded off the scoring after Victor Ruiz was sent off for a second bookable offence.

It's the second cup final in the same season for Liverpool, which is staggering given Jurgen Klopp arrived at the club just seven months ago and has barely signed a player, but there was plenty to take from the Reds display last night. 

Here are five things we may have learned:

Their European night cauldron is back 

Some may regard it as mythical, but there really is nothing quite like Anfield on a European night when the home crowd gets their backs up. Villarreal boss Marcelino said that his side would be inspired by the atmosphere, but they seemed to crumble, and their heads seemed to go.

There were plenty of mistakes from the visitors and the volume was turned up a little, and just look at the mess that was made of the opening goal from a defensive point of view. They could just be not very good at football, but look at Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United before them - and games back in the 2000s during Rafa Benitez's era. It would seem like too much of a coincidence. 

Daniel Sturridge is a big part of Liverpool's future

Some have looked at his body language and the way the forward has been omitted from the side, trying to read that he could be on his way in the summer. The fact is, he's incredibly important to Liverpool - demonstrated by the role he had in some capacity in all three of Liverpool's goals. He could've had more than his solitary goal but when he's fired up, any defence will find it very hard to handle.

Emre Can's stature grows through absence and impressive return

I have to say this, at the turn of the year I'm not sure what all the fuss was about, boy was I wrong. The German gives Liverpool some presence, drive, covers a lot of ground and keeps the play ticking over at a quick pace and there was plenty of organisation from Can. When on the field he is one of Liverpool's leaders, and the midfield just looks so much better with him in the side.

James Milner grows into stand-in captaincy duties 

Milner is certainly one of those players who you notice when he's not there, but whenever he was on the ball he actually looked a threat. A decent ball in where Adam Lallana ought to have doubled the home side's lead on the night. Milner does a lot of talking on the field in general. As for his play, he got beyond the defensive line a great deal, whenever he was in a dangerous position there was almost an expectation he would produce something. It was a stand-out display from a number of fine performances in the absence of Jordan Henderson.

Liverpool 'being angry' pays dividends again

If you could bottle up the psychology of being a goal down from the first leg in a European tie and apply it in every game, there will be very few games the Reds would win. Jurgen Klopp has often spoke of his side being angry, and subsequently his side channeling that anger in the right way. It felt like Liverpool were so mad with themselves for conceding late on in the first leg that they were going to put things right by hook or by crook.

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