Liverpool to face Villarreal in Europa League semi-finals

Liverpool have been paired with in-form La Liga side Villarreal in the final four of the UEFA Europa League after the draw was made in Switzerland on Friday.

Liverpool to face Villarreal in Europa League semi-finals
(Picture: Getty Images)

Liverpool will face Villarreal in the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League after the draw was made in Nyon on Friday afternoon.

The Reds reached the final four in the most dramatic possible circumstances on Thursday evening as Dejan Lovren's stoppage-time header confirmed a three-goal turnaround for a 4-3 second-leg win over Borussia Dortmund.

That gave Jürgen Klopp and co. a 5-4 win over the two legs and dumped the favourites out of the competition on a pulsating Anfield night, rewarding them with a trip to Spain to face fourth-placed La Liga outfit Villarreal.

Klopp's side travel to El Madrigal for the first-leg on Thursday April 28th, days after hosting strugglers Newcastle United at home in the Barclays Premier League.

The second-leg is scheduled one week later on Thursday May 5, with both ties kicking off at 8:05pm as the two teams battle it out to set up a showpiece final against either back-to-back reigning champions Sevilla or Shakhtar Donetsk.

Reds face tough test to reach European final

Liverpool's incredible win over Dortmund ranks among the club's greatest ever European nights. (Picture: Getty Images)
Liverpool's incredible win over Dortmund ranks among the club's greatest ever European nights. (Picture: Getty Images)

Those two legs will be sandwiched either side of a league game away at Swansea City on May 1, which has been rescheduled for a 1pm kick-off, whilst the home clash with Watford has been changed to a Sunday with a kick-off time to be confirmed.

Liverpool and Villarreal have never played each other in continental competition, having only ever met once in a goalless pre-season draw in 2008 as the Reds faced the Yellow Submarine in the Castellón province.

They won 4-2 away at Sparta Prague to book their place in the last four, winning 6-3 overall, and are only behind Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona in the domestic standings.

Although the Reds knocked out the favourites, Dortmund, in such incredible fashion - they face a tough test to secure their place in the final at Basel's St. Jakob-Park on May 18th, in which they would be the home team.

Though Villarreal, managed by Marcelino García Toral, are winless in their last 10 games against English opposition - they have also knocked out Bayer Leverkusen and Napoli in the tournament since finishing second to Rapid Wien in the group stages.

In La Liga, they have also enjoyed wins over Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid, as well as drawing with the juggernaut of Barcelona, and have lost just once in 12 games in European competition this term. 

Klopp's Liverpool, meanwhile, are the only unbeaten team in Europe this season - with five wins and seven draws - having got past Augsburg, Manchester United and Dortmund to reach this stage.