What’s been happening in the world of football on Merseyside this week? Jennifer Jewell gives us the scoop….
Europa League Finalists
Jürgen Klopp has led Liverpool to the Europa League final after beating Villareal over two legs. After losing the first leg 1-0, Liverpool knew they needed to pull out a great performance, and result, at Anfield to ensure a trip to Basel on May 18. Their 3-0 win means they will now face Sevilla in the final with a Champions League place up for grabs as well as the cup. It’s already Klopp’s second final with Liverpool after just eight months at the club and the boss is hoping to see as many Reds’ fans in Basel as possible, despite the club only being allocated 9,000 tickets.
Everton’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final pretty much drew an end to Everton’s season, with their hopes of lifting their first trophy in over 20 years eliminated at Wembley. The Toffees’ fans haven’t changed their feeling toward manager Roberto Martinez following the cup exit and many fans stayed behind at Goodison Park after the win against Bournemouth last week in protest of their current boss. Although he is still at the club, fans are already speculating about his replacement. The names linked so far? Martin O’Neill, Joachim Low and Ronald Koeman. Whoever takes over, frustrated fans are hoping to see a change before next season.
Box Office Bellew
Goodison Park will host a knockout sporting event once the season has come to an end as Evertonian boxer Tony Bellew will fight for the WBC cruiserweight title at the stadium. Bellew will swap his seat in the crowd to take his place in the ring on the pitch, where he is hoping to beat Congolese fighter Ilunga Makabu in front of a packed Goodison Park on May 29. Life-long blue Bellew said, “I’ve been going to Everton for as long as I have been able to walk so now fighting at Goodison Park is the dream upon the dream come true.”
Justice At Last
Merseyside stood united once again last week when after 27 years of fighting, justice was finally brought to the 96 Liverpool supporters who lost their lives. The truth about what happened that day was finally confirmed. A vigil in memory of the victims was held in Liverpool City Centre with 30,000 people attending. It was a victory for the families and for the city, and Everton’s statement read: “Everton Football Club salutes the Hillsborough families and their total vindication as Fighters of Justice. Theirs is the greatest victory in the history of football. RIP, the 96.” #YNWA