Liverpool beat Benfica to put one foot in the semifinals

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Liverpool beat Benfica to put one foot in the semifinals

Liverpool comfortably beat Benfica at their home ground to put one foot in the semifinals of the Champions League.

Goals from Ibrahima Konate, Sadio Mane, and Luis Diaz’s reply to a Darwin Nunez strike gave the Merseyside outfit a 3-1 cushion ahead of the second leg at Anfield.

Liverpool were put in front in the 17th minute when Andy Robertson’s pinpoint corner kick was met by Konate rose who powered a header down and in from six yards for his first Liverpool goal.

A few moments later, Trent Alexander-Arnold capitalized on a Benfica giveaway in the midfield to find Diaz over of the Benfica defense who headed the ball across the face of goal and gave Mane the simple task of side-footing it into the net to give Liverpool a comfortable lead.

His 22nd Champions League goal for Liverpool took Mane past the mark of Reds legend Steven Gerrard, putting him behind only Mohamed Salah in Europe’s premier competition.

Less than five minutes after the restart, Darwin Nunez scored his 20th goal in his last 20 games in all competitions after Konate failed to cut out a Rafa Silva cross.

With the game firmly in the balance, Klopp was forced into a triple substitution, bringing on Jordan Henderson, Diogo Jota, and Roberto Firmino

Spurred on by a reawakened home crowd, Benfica continued to threaten to level the tie.

Liverpool’s greater quality eventually showed through Diaz who scored his team’s third to make certain that Liverpool beat Benfica and give them an ideal start to a massive week.

The Reds will now set their sights on Manchester City in the Premier League, a clash that may well determine the Champion of England.

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