Liverpool hammer Benfica to pick up important first-leg win in Champions League Quarterfinal
Football

Liverpool hammer Benfica to pick up important first-leg win in Champions League Quarterfinal

Liverpool claimed an emphatic 3-1 win over Benfica in their UEFA Champions League Quarterfinal first leg clash at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon to put a foot in the last four of the competition.

Having fallen to Real Madrid in the Champions League Quarterfinal last season, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was wary of the same occurrence taking place in Portugal. Liverpool knocked Italian champions Inter Milan out in the the previous round as Benfica stunned Ajax.

The visitors set about their task in the Champions League Quarterfinal early as they were in front within 17 minutes through towering central defender Ibrahima Konate, who sent a powerful header into the back of the net after a pinpoint corner kick delivery from Andrew Robertson.

Just after the half-hour mark, the Reds doubled their advantage through Sadio Mane. The Senegalese forward had the easiest of tasks to tap the ball into an empty net after Luis Diaz headed a brilliant pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold into his path in front of an unguarded net in the 34th minute.

Liverpool were pegged back within four minutes of the restart as red-hot Benfica striker Darwin Nunez finished off a pass from Rafa Silva in front of their own fans, halving the visitors’ lead in the process.

Benfica thought they had a penalty after a coming together between Nunez and Virgil Van Dijk in Liverpool’s box, but the VAR ruled that there was no foul in the incident.

Liverpool punished Benfica for their failure to score an equaliser, and took the game away from them in the 87th minute through the lively Luis Diaz. The former FC Porto star latched onto a through pass from Naby Keita before proceeding to round the goalkeeper and finish from a tight angle to make it 3-1.

Liverpool were worthy winners of their UEFA Champions League Quarterfinal first leg clash against Benfica and now take a huge advantage into next week’s second leg at Anfield.

Salahudeen Sulayman

Sulayman is a sports enthusiast and budding Sports writer. You can reach him on Twitter @Sulayman_Salah

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