Liverpool addicted by Benfica but qualified for the Champions League semi-finals

The game: 3-3

It’s hard to crack the impression of steadfastness and serenity given off by such a collective. Benfica had another painful experience at Anfield on Wednesday night, against a Liverpool bis team. Ambitious as in the first leg, the Portuguese come out of the competition with their heads held high after bravely playing out their luck and recovering from a two-goal deficit. But they never really panicked the Reds who had already taken shelter (3-3). The 2019 European champions are back among the final four.


Liverpool reached the last four of the European Champion Clubs’ Cup/Champions League for the 12th time in their history. No other English club does it better (tied with Manchester United). (Opt.)

The end of the game will leave Benfica with regret and a certain bitter taste in Jürgen Klopp. The English were comfortably installed and in control of the game, paying for their release with two gross misalignments 40 yards from their goal. Launched behind the Reds’ defense, Roman Yaremchuk and Darwin Nunez were able to adapt Alisson to bring the Eagles forward (72nd and 82nd). The pressure could have been a bit more, but Nunez tripped over the Reds goalkeeper (83rd) and was flagged for offside (90+5) at the end of the game.

For this chaotic last quarter, Liverpool had managed and even built on the advantage they won in Lisbon. The opener came from a copy-and-paste goal by Ibrahima Konaté on a corner by Konstantinos Tsimikas (21st). Benfica may have equalized quickly through Ramos (32nd), the Reds remained the most dangerous like these saves from Odysseas (26th), Jan Vertonghen (30th) and Alejandro Grimaldo (38th). The second goal came after the break, when Roberto Firmino coolly punished Vertonghen’s failed clearance (55th). On a free kick by Tsimikas, the Brazilian closed things by signing a double (65th).

The player: Firmino was confident

In a chaotic season at an individual level, marked by injuries and a questionable status, Firmino has shown that his coach can count on him for the big deadlines that lie ahead for the Reds. Only for the second time this season in permanent service in the Champions League did the Brazilian shine. When Vertonghen cleared a goal in the first half and Grimaldo an assist, he put Liverpool in control after the break with a fox goal. Precious for preservation and for finding Diaz or Jota, it came out of the box to seal the result at the hour of play.

The fact: Klopp sure of his group

24 hours after the breath-taking scenarios of the first two quarter-finals, Jurgen Klopp could have been tempted to keep his eleven type in order to avoid a cold sweat, despite the advantage gained in Lisbon. But coming off a tiring game against Manchester City (2-2, last Sunday), the German preferred to make seven substitutions from the first leg. Without Salah, Mane, Van Dijk, Fabinho, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson or Thiago kicking off, his group gave him back his confidence, despite costly defensive mistakes at the end of the game. But the Reds’ substitutes had done the job before and proved that this team has a depth that could be decisive for going all the way in this C1.

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