Liverpool gets the ticket for La Cerámica
Kloop’s team meets a combative Benfica and will face Villarreal in the semifinals
MADRID, 13 Apr. (EUROPE PRESS) –
Liverpool qualified this Wednesday for the semifinals of the Champions League after obtaining a hard-fought draw against Benfica (3-3) in a match played at Anfield — full of alternatives — that allows them to meet Villarreal in the penultimate tie of the maximum continental competition.
The English team, champion of Europe three years ago, faced the duel with rotations and with the confidence granted by the 1-3 first leg. To top their expectations, the ‘reds’ scored the first of the night at 20 minutes, again with Konaté leading the way in a corner thanks to an unappealable header in the heart of the area.
Benfica, with nothing to lose and everything against them, went crazy to press and soon found a reward for several mistakes by the British defense. First it was Everton with a shot that grazed the post and then Darwin Núñez tried it, who scored a goal but was annulled for offside after an excellent definition.
However, the Portuguese team managed to equalize after half an hour with a shot from Gonçalo Ramos, who made good pressure from his teammates against James Milner. In the reply, Grimaldo avoided the 2-1 in a very clear play that was wasted by a slow Luis Díaz. The match did not lose its dynamism at any time, especially due to the courage of the Portuguese.
Hoping to repeat their feat of 2006, when they already won at Anfield, Nelson Verissimo’s pupils went further thanks to the game of wings and left more space for their rival. Liverpool did not miss the opportunity and went 3-1 with a brace from Roberto Firmino, the smartest in the class and decisive at the right time.
Benfica did not give up and despite losing 6-2 on aggregate, they continued to look for their rival in the opposite field. Yaremchuk closed the gap and Darwin Núñez made the Portuguese believe with ten minutes to go. There was even a scare for Klopp’s men when Darwin himself scored again two minutes later.
This time it was a clear offside that did not require VAR, an action that killed the game and condemned Benfica to elimination. Liverpool will go ahead and meet Villarreal, whom they will host on April 27 at Anfield.
–RESULT: LIVERPOOL, 3 – BENFICA, 3 (1-1, at halftime).
LIVERPOOL: Alisson; Joe Gomez, Konaté, Matip, Tsimikas; Henderson (Fabinho, min.58), Milner (Thiago Alcántara, min.58), Keita; Firmino (Origi, min.90), Jota (Salah, min.57) and Luis Díaz (Mané, min.66).
BENFICA: Vlachodimos; Gilberto (Dias, min.90), Otamendi, Vertonghen, Grimaldo; Weigl, Taarabt (Joao Mario, min. 66); Diogo Gonçalves (Yaremchuk, min.46), Gonçalo Ramos (Paulo Bernando, min.78), Everton (Almeida, min.90); and Darwin Nunez.
1-0, min.21, Konate.
1-1, min.32, Gonçalo Ramos.
2-1, min.55, Firmino.
3-1, min.65, Firmino.
3-2, min.73, Yaremchuk.
3-3, min. 82, Darwin Núñez.
–REFEREE: Serdar Gözübüyük (HOL). No warnings.
— STADIUM: Anfield. 51,373 spectators.