Liverpool made it to the final of the UEFA Champions League after a thrilling second leg fixture against Spanish side Villarreal. The Yellow Submarine led by two goals to nil at half time to level the aggregate scores, but the introduction of Colombian winger Luis Diaz turned the game on its head for Liverpool.
In a 12-minute flurry greatly helped by goalkeeping errors from Villarreal’s shot-stopper Geronimo Rulli, Liverpool bounced back to score three goals to win the game 3-2 and increase the aggregate scoreline to 5-2.
Diaz was the man of the match despite not playing the full game and Robertson was full of praise for the new Red.
“He has been special,” Robertson stated on Wednesday. “We’ve tried to help him as much as we can, all the players. We know how difficult it is coming in in January. The coaches and everyone else have got him up to speed but he is a special, special player. The talent he has and the will to win – he just fits us perfectly.
“It was tough to take Jota off, I think he has been excellent this season, but Luis came on and made a big, big difference. He played on the left, started pushing them back, dribbling the ball and everything. A really good half from him.
“He’s been special since he came in and it’s been a pleasure to play with him. Hopefully he will only get better. With a full pre-season under his belt I believe he will get better, which is scary, but what he has produced in the here and now is pretty special as well.”
The Colombian joined Liverpool from FC Porto in January while on World Cup qualification duty with the Colombian national team. The Reds hijacked his signing from Tottenham Hotspur much to the chagrin of Antonio Conte, but it has proven an inspired decision ever since.
The winger has carried over his form from Porto, where he was the Dragons’ leading goalscorer before the turn of the year. He is yet to hit the same levels of proficiency with Liverpool, having scored only five goals from 21 appearances in all competitions.
However, his form has translated to an extra bite in the Reds’ attack and it was evident against Villarreal, where he scored the equalising goal of the night before Sadio Mane made it 3-2.
Diaz has also won the Carabao Cup and is set to make history as one of the first squads to win a treble in English football since Manchester United in 1999, and also one of first ever squad to win an unprecedented quadruple in English football.