Paul Merson Luis Diaz
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BT Sport pundit blown away by Luis Diaz in Liverpool win

Peter Crouch has told BT Sport (broadcast on 3/5; 21:53) that he thought that Luis Diaz was fantastic for Liverpool as they booked their place in the Champions League final, with the forward labelled a game-changer.

Liverpool are one game away from getting their hands on the European Cup for a seventh time. But they would have probably hoped for a much more comfortable evening against Villarreal.

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The Reds boasted a 2-0 lead from the first-leg. And it did appear hard to imagine Unai Emery’s side being able to cause an upset. But they so nearly managed it on Tuesday.

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The Yellow Submarine went into the break 2-0 up to level the tie on aggregate. Liverpool were well short of where they needed to be to secure their spot in the final. Unsurprisingly, Jurgen Klopp made a change at the break.

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It was Diaz who came on, with Diogo Jota coming off. And the change seemed to make a massive difference. The Colombian got their equaliser and seemed to cause problems throughout the second-half.

It was Fabinho and Sadio Mane who bookended the goalscoring for the visitors. But Crouch suggested that it was Diaz’s contribution that inspired Liverpool to go on and book their ticket to the final.

“He changed the game I thought. He was fantastic. The moment he came on, he was getting at players. He was a complete game-changer,” he told BT Sport.

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Diaz has been a revelation since coming to the Premier League. He arrived with a big reputation after a superb run of form with Porto. But he has settled better than anyone could have imagined.

He has been outstanding and is knocking on the door for a more regular starting spot. Certainly, he has to be in contention for a start in the final.

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