(Benfica – Liverpool 1-3) Liverpool occasionally performed very well and sabotaged Benfica on foreign pitches in the first Champions League quarter-finals.
1 of 3Photo: MIGUEL A. LOPES / EPA
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– To come here and win away games in the Champions League is difficult, Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp told BT Sport after the game.
He could see that his side boomed from the start, but after taking a 2-0 lead at halftime, Benfica came back hard in the second half. Then there was a reduction, before the Portuguese side pressed for an equaliser.
Instead, it was narrowed at the opposite end by Luis Díaz, and thus Liverpool have 3-1 to go before the return leg at Anfield on Wednesday of the week.
– Benfica didn’t do enough against Liverpool, who will advance to the semi-finals, says TV 2 expert commentator Brede Hangeland.
– It was a tough match. We were top in the first half and could have led by a lot more. Then we wanted to keep them but they got a score that lifted the crowd and we got sloppy. The third goal was huge, Andy Robertson told BT Sport.
With Tuesday’s win, Liverpool have won eight consecutive away games in all tournaments since 2-2 against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on January 2. That’s according to OptaJoe longest in club history.
It took just a quarter of an hour before Liverpool got off to a fresh start. Robertson hit a corner and in front of goal Ibrahima Konaté used force to crush the home team in the air. The Liverpool goalkeeper heads the ball through the grass. before the champ in goal behind Benfica goalkeeper Odisseas Vlachodimos.
Konate’s first goal for Liverpool was a fact, and the visitors from Merseyside had an optimal start to the quarter-finals.
After half an hour had passed, they made a better start, having delivered the attack artwork.
Trent Alexander-Arnold then had a third chance to score, but a final challenge ensured he didn’t. The Colombian headed the ball, and in front of goal Sadio Mané doubled the lead.
The lead could have been greater quickly, but with 2-0 halfway through the Portuguese capital, the visitors may be very happy.
However, after the break, it didn’t take several minutes before Benfica hit back. Rafa Silva swung at the post, and when Konaté miscalculated his clearance, Darwin Núnez suddenly stood alone in front of goal.
He got the ball right, before setting it in the far corner behind Alisson Becker who had no chance at home to Liverpool.
Liverpool were reeling, and Benfica rolled up one good chance after another. However, it was only by chance, and before the end Díaz ran with the score 3-1.
1 of 3Photo: JOSE SENA GOULAO / EPA
Naby Keita hit deep for Díaz, and the former Porto man took the ball at full speed past Vlachodimos before sending it into the open net.
He (Díaz) received a great reception at the start, and played in front of one of their biggest rivals. A good goal for him, and a two-goal lead made the difference. “Hopefully we’ll be able to get the job done,” said Robertson.
In extra time, it looked like Fabinho had taken a bad hit, but Liverpool’s midfield anchor in Brazil recovered. This is good news for Klopp ahead of Sunday’s big game against Manchester City in the Premier League.
– There’s a wound on the back of his head. It will take time, but he has to be ready, Klopp told a news conference on Tuesday night.
After the game resumed, Diogo Jota had a great chance to make it 4-1, but his own effort with Vlachodimos was saved by the Greek goalkeeper.
So, with two goals to go before Benfica come to Anfield in a week.
– Liverpool are a good team, but we are not afraid of them. “We will work to get a good result on the return settlement,” Núnez told CNN Portugal.
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