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Published: 22:22 | 5/5/16

Klopp praises Liverpool "brains"

Reds' boss impressed with players' game management against Villarreal

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp paid tribute to his players' game management during the Europa League victory over Villarreal.

The Reds beat Villarreal 3-0 at Anfield in the Europa League semi-final second leg to progress 3-1 on aggregate, and set up a mouth-watering final against holders Sevilla in Basel on 18 May.

Klopp was particularly pleased with the way his side dominated possession in the second half and nullified the threat of a Villarreal away goal, as Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana netted second-half strikes to add to Bruno Soriano's early own goal.

"Wonderful night, brilliant game from my side," Klopp told BT Sport.

"What a performance. The first half an hour was a big emotion. It was great. The last 15 minutes of the first half we lost patience.

"The second half plan was to keep going with the emotional football but using the brain a bit more and in the end - brilliant."

Klopp singled out "unbelievable" Sturridge for praise after watching the England striker net his fourth goal in five Anfield appearances.

"You see when he is fit he is unbelievable, but even he needs players to play with. I know about his quality, I knew it before, now I know it better," the German continued.

Sturridge, who was given a stadium-wide standing ovation when he came off in injury-time, was delighted at Liverpool's progression to a 12th European final, and his own contribution to the victory.

"There will always be ups and downs in football," he said.

"It is about being prepared to put your body on the line and take chances. It is a great feeling."

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