After Firmino’s double, the Reds hold off a stunning late comeback

Liverpool were on pace for the UEFA Champions League semi-finals after two goals from Roberto Firmino, but the Reds had to fight hard to get there as Benfica pulled two back.

Liverpool will play in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals for the third time in five seasons, as Roberto Firmino’s second-half double all but sealed an aggregate victory until Benfica came back to take some of the lusters off. Villarreal is up next.

A much-improved Liverpool were sluggish to get into this quarter-final second leg, but Ibrahima Konaté headed in his second goal of the game halfway through the first half to put the Reds practically out.

The Reds attempted to ensure victory, with Benfica struggling to control them at times, but the visitors withstood the storm and struck back when Gonçalo Ramos capitalized on a fortunate ricochet.

Liverpool reclaimed control, even though nerves jangled until Firmino tapped in at the far post twice in 11 second-half minutes. The Reds lead 6-2 on aggregate — couldn’t they be done?

Nonetheless, Benfica surprised the visiting supporters by mounting a stunning comeback to draw on the night, with Roman Yaremchuk and Darwin Nez drawing it back to 6-4 before Alisson Becker made a brilliant save to deny Darwin another. Liverpool, on the other hand, had already put in the effort.

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