Who is Villarreal's Geronimo Rulli? Goalkeeper makes Champions League nightmare mistakes in Liverpool semifinal comeback - bdsthanhhoavn.com

Who is Villarreal’s Geronimo Rulli? Goalkeeper makes Champions League nightmare mistakes in Liverpool semifinal comeback

It was an evening to remember for Liverpool, as the Reds produced a second-half comeback to secure a semifinal triumph in Spain and send the club through to the 2022 Champions League final.

Consequently, it was a night to forget for Villarreal goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli.

An inspired first half saw Villarreal produce two goals to stun Liverpool, leaving the Spanish side up 2-0 at halftime, evening the series on aggregate goals against the out-of-sorts Reds.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp brought on Luis Diaz for the final 45 minutes, and the Colombian inspired a ferocious second half from the English side, with three goals from Fabinho, Diaz, and Sadio Mane to send the Reds through 5-2 on aggregate.

However, all three goals were arguably preventable with Rulli putting forth a nightmarish second-half performance in net.

Geronimo Rulli’s disastrous mistakes against Liverpool

With Villarreal leading 2-0 at halftime and a famous turnaround in sight, Rulli produced one of the great duds in Champions League history, nutmegged twice for Liverpool’s first two goals before a baffling error coming off his line that gifted a third.

Just past the hour mark, Liverpool found a way back into the match with a goal by Fabinho. The shot came from a tight angle, and with Rulli covering his near post, there was no reason he shouldn’t have been able to save the bouncing effort. Except, it went right through his legs.

Watch Fabinho’s goal: UK | Canada | Australia | USA

Then, the same thing happened five minutes later, with Diaz this time the beneficiary. A cross from deep by Trent Alexander-Arnold found the head of a wide-open Diaz, and while the Colombian should never have been that wide open at the far post, his header wasn’t of the highest quality, but again somehow squeaked through Rulli’s legs.

Watch Diaz’s goal: Canada | Australia | USA

With Liverpool two goals up and Villarreal needing another miracle, Liverpool put the match away courtesy of Sadio Mane. The Senegalese international latched onto a deep ball by Naby Keita and found himself through on goal, seeing Rulli came way out of his penalty area to contest.

The Argentine goalkeeper whiffed completely, and Mane survived a tackle from a defender to eventually bag the winning goal.

Watch Mane’s goal: UK | Canada | Australia | USA

Rulli’s match registered all across the globe as fans were aghast at the performance, but it also registered on the statistical models as well. Both analytical outlets WhoScored and Opta chimed in on Rulli’s disastrous evening, the latter of which recalled another famed goalkeeping scapegoat that Liverpool fans will remember well.

Who is Villarreal goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli?

A 29-year-old goalkeeper from La Plata, Argentina, Geronimo Rulli is a product of the Estudiantes youth system, making his debut for the Argentine club in 2011 and earning 50 appearances for the side.

In the summer of 2014, Rulli was loaned to Real Sociedad in Spain, where he would stay for the next five seasons. He announced himself to La Real fans when he starred in a 1-0 win over Barcelona in his first season at the club.

Officially, Rulli’s contract was purchased in 2016 by Manchester City, but he was loaned straight back to Real Sociedad, and eventually would be permanently transferred back to the Spanish side just six months later.

After 170 appearances for Real Sociedad, during which he would see action in the Europa League and help the club finish as high as sixth in La Liga, Rulli was loaned to French side Montpellier in the summer of 2019. He had one of the best seasons of his career in France, making 25 league appearances and keeping eight clean sheets, conceding just 27 goals.

That campaign earned Rulli a move back to La Liga a year later, when he joined Villarreal in the summer of 2020. His first year at El Madrigal, Rulli backed up Spaniard Sergio Asenjo in league play, but was the starting goalkeeper for Villarreal in European cup competitions that season.

He played a starring role in the 2021 Europa League final win over Manchester United. The match ended 1-1, and the ensuing penalty shootout went 11 rounds, seeing all players on the pitch take a shot. Rulli played hero that night, saving goalkeeper counterpart David de Gea’s effort in the final round before scoring his own spot-kick to clinch victory.

Rulli then earned the Villarreal starting job this past offseason and has been Villarreal’s starter for much of the 2021-22 campaign. However, Asenjo has earned more minutes in 2022, making four La Liga appearances since the start of February as Rulli’s form has dipped … ultimately leading to the debacle in the Champions League semifinal.

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