The Reds took the lead courtesy of an own goal from Pervis Estupinan before Sadio Mane doubled the score two minutes later.
Speaking after the game on Wednesday, Emery revealed what Villarreal’s objective was, ahead of next week’s second leg clash.
A failed plan in England
“It’s Liverpool and we know that they are the favourites and that they are better but also that we can compete with them and get our chances.”
Emery admitted after the 2-0 defeat that his plan didn’t work out and that his team deserved to lose by at least two goals.
“There are moments, with negative results, that when it’s two games you have to know how to relativise. We didn’t deserve anything better than a 2-0 [defeat]. We have to try to make sure that the home game is different, that we play as we want. We had a plan and the idea didn’t work out,” Emery said.
“It could have been worse, the Villarreal coach added, “because there are some offside goals, we defended in low [block] situations, we didn’t have chances.
It could have been worse because we didn’t have expectations to improve this result. We have 90 minutes and we will try to make it different.”
A turn-around in Spain
“In the semi-finals, you have to play such powerful opponents, in such a great moment as the one they are,” Emery said after the game.
The 50-year-old revealed that Villarreal’s objective ahead of the second leg at the Estadio de la Ceramica was to secure the best possible result.
“Today it was a game that, wanting to win, wanting to take control, they didn’t let us. Today it was about resisting defensively as much as we could to have a chance in the second game.
And we did that. It will be different there [Estadio de la Ceramica]. We will give a lot more. We are here because we have done something. I’m hopeful that we’ll play another game at home.”