Liverpool

Liverpool booked their place in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals despite a 3-3 home draw against Benfica in the quarter-final second leg match played at Anfield on Wednesday night. 

The Reds led 3-1 from the first leg played a week ago in Portugal, and were in no danger of losing the advantage before a nearly fully-packed Anfield Stadium.

It’s no surprise they made an impressive start, creating chances in the opening few minutes.

It was the visitors though who had the first open chance in the 13th minute when Everton tried his luck with a thunderbolt of a shot towards goal from long range, but his powerful strike went narrowly wide of the left post.

Liverpool though looked the most likely side to score first, and it did not take long before they found the breakthrough – in the 23rd minute.

Having not scored a single goal for the Reds, Ibrahima Konate opened his Liverpool account last week against the Portuguese side, and he interestingly gave them the lead at Anfield when he expertly headed home a Konstantinos Tsimikas corner.

Two minutes later, Benfica thought they had equalised when Darwin Nunez put the ball into the back of the net, but the assistant referee raised his flag and the referee blew his whistle for offside.

Luis Diaz was then denied by Odysseas Vlachodimos just before the half-hour mark after the winger made some space for himself inside the box and unleashed a quick shot to the right side of the goal.

Benfica however got back into the game in the 32nd minute when Goncalo Ramos received a great chance inside the box and drilled a shot into the bottom left corner.

The goal was however subjected to a VAR review to ascertain whether or not there was an offside in the build-up.

Just before the break, a rebound fell at the feet of Naby Keita, and he hit a first-time exocet from long range that flew a whisker past the right post.

Jurgen Klopp’s charges started the second half like they ended the first, creating a number of chances as they went for the win.

10 minutes into the half, they doubled their lead when Diogo Jota fed Roberto Firmino, who tapped the ball into an empty net to make it 2-1.

It was 3-1 after the hour mark as Tsimikas once again floated a lovely ball in from the free-kick to Firmino, and he slotted the ball inside the right post.

Benfica made it 3-2 in the 73rd minute when Roman Yaremchuk found the back of the net, but the goal was subjected to a VAR review.

The visitors battled and got the equaliser in the 83rd minute, this time Darwin Nunez beating Alisson in goal.

Just like the first two goals, the strike was reviewed by VAR, before it was allowed to stand.

Despite their best efforts, Benfica could not get their way past the Reds, bowing out 6-4 on aggregate.

Liverpool will now meet Villarreal in the semi-finals for a final ticket.

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