UCL: Liverpool are closer to the semi-finals with a comfortable victory in Benfica

In the Champions League Quarter-Finals, Liverpool beat Benfica 1-3. Here’s all you need to know about the game and what happens next.

The Reds faced Portuguese club Benfica in the opening leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals Thursday evening at the Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica.

Goals by Ibrahima Konate, Sadio Mane, and Luiz Diaz on his return to Portugal gave Liverpool a 3-1 away victory heading into the second leg.

Benfica had the same side that defeated Ajax in the round of 16 last year.

Konate scored the game’s opening goal in the 16th minute, after an Andy Robertson corner. The Frenchman leaped above everyone and headed the ball into the ground, where it rebounded into the net, his first goal for Liverpool. 1-0

Jurgen Klopp made many changes from the weekend’s 2-0 victory over Watford, including the return of Trent Alexander-Arnold from injury and the replacement of Joel Matip by Ibrahima Konate.

Jordon Henderson was replaced in midfield by Naby Keita, marking the first time Kieta and Thiago began together, as did Curtis Jones, who was replaced by Fabinho.

Finally, in the attacking positions, Luiz Diaz replaces Jota, who is resting for Sunday’s Premier League championship match.

Liverpool’s second goal came in the 33rd minute when Trent Alexander-Arnold lofted a cross into the area, where Diaz nodded the ball down for Mane to tuck away from close range. 2-0

Luiz Diaz tried to score against his old Portuguese opponents, but his long-range shot went wide of the left post.

Robertson and Mohamed Salah continued to attempt to connect, but the Scotland skipper was unable to locate his Egyptian opponent.

The left-crosses back’s continued to be over/under struck, making it difficult for Salah to get into the game.

Darwin Nunez scored a goal for the home side early in the second half.

Rafa Silva’s low cross, which Konate couldn’t clear, was tapped away by the quick forward. 2-1
Liverpool were careless after Benfica’s score, enabling the home side to play through their high line.

Nunez, who scored the goal, had one of the opportunities, but he blasted his shot over the crossbar.

As Benfica started to show signs of life, Liverpool were all over the place defensively, forcing Alisson Becker to make many saves.

Klopp made three substitutions after an abysmal opening 20 minutes of the second half.

Mane, Salah, and Thiago were substituted by Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino, and Jordan Henderson, respectively.

Benfica filed penalty appeals when Virgil van Dijk threw his arm over the torso of the rushing forward, but the referee did not award the penalty kick.

Luiz Diaz scored his first Champions League goal for Liverpool, bringing the score to 3-1. Diaz received a through pass from Kieta and took the ball past the oncoming goalkeeper before placing it into an empty net, sealing the Merseyside club’s 3-1 away triumph.

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