Liverpool collapse after great first half, but are on course for semi-finals | Champions League

ResumeIn a game with two faces, Liverpool have done well in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. On a visit to Benfica, Liverpool seemed to be heading for a big victory, but the Portuguese fought back in the second half. The game ended with a goal from Luis Díaz in a big victory for Liverpool: 1-3.

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In an atmospheric Estadio da Luz, Liverpool – which took office with Díaz instead of Diogo Jota – immediately set the tone. After a stormy initial phase with especially great opportunities for Mo Salah, Ibrahima Konaté crowned the good game with the 0-1. From a corner, the central defender nodded in a controlled manner and left the well-playing goalkeeper Vlachodimos without a chance.

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Seventeen minutes later, Sadio Mané doubled the score after a lightning-fast breakout. Although Liverpool had more great opportunities, Jürgen Klopp’s team went into the dressing room with ‘only’ a 0-2 lead.

But the game changed in the second half. Due to a mistake by goalscorer Konaté, Darwin Núñez, the man who headed Ajax out of the Champions League, made it 1-2. Faith was back and supported by the fanatic public, Benfica went on the hunt for more.

Benfica almost also managed to make it 2-2, just like against Ajax, but a few quick counters were not rewarded with a goal. The home team was almost helped by a foul by Virgil van Dijk on Núñez, but referee Jesus Gil Manzano did not think the shirt was worth a penalty.

Just before time, Liverpool struck after a quick switch and made it 1-3, note bene Días, who was whistled the entire match because of his past at FC Porto.

Virgil van Dijk and his fellow players celebrate the 1-3. © AP

The return awaits Anfield next Wednesday, but Benfica starts the match with a clearly less good starting point than against Ajax and needs a miracle to keep Liverpool out of the semi-finals.

Manchester City also came into action tonight. Pep Guardiola’s team won 1-0 against Atlético Madrid. On Sunday, Manchester City and Liverpool play against each other in the Premier League and the lead is at stake.

Virgil van Dijk hugs goalscorer Luis Díaz.
Virgil van Dijk hugs goalscorer Luis Díaz. © REUTERS

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