Champions League: Benfica’s comeback mission fails as Liverpool book semi-final spot

Champions League: Benfica's comeback mission fails as Liverpool book semi-final spot

Liverpool advanced to the next round of the Champions League after defeating Benfica 3-3 (6-4 on aggregate) in the quarter-finals on Wednesday night at Anfield.Champions League: Benfica's comeback mission fails as Liverpool book semi-final spot

The Reds came into the match with a 3-1 advantage from the first leg at Estadio da Luz, and were looking to finish the job and advance to the semi-finals against Villarreal.

Benfica, on the other hand, was aiming to overcome a two-goal deficit after Darwin Nunez’s second-half goal in Lisbon gave the Primeira Liga side a narrow opportunity of salvaging the tie.

Liverpool scored their first goal just 21 minutes into the contest. Konate gave the Reds the lead for the second week in a row.

He cleanly blasted his header past Vlachodimos and into the bottom corner after rising highest at the penalty spot to give Liverpool a 4-1 aggregate lead.

Tsimikas’ inswinging corner from the right prompted Konate to put his head on the ball to give the hosts the lead.

Benfica came back into the game with an equalizer 11 minutes later, seemingly out of nowhere.

Gonçalo Ramos was picked out by Goncalves inside the box and strikes a low shot past Alisson into the bottom-left corner for the visitors.

Liverpool were still on course to reach the Champions League semi-finals after a thrilling first half, with a two-goal lead.

Before Roberto Firmino gave the home side the lead again 10 minutes into the second half, putting his team three goals ahead on aggregate.

Firmino made the best out of a Vlachodimos blunder, which was followed by a clearance that fell to Jota.

The Portugal international then crosses for a close-range tap-in from his Brazilian partner.

Roberto Firmino doubled his tally of the night 65 minutes in to make it 3-1 for Liverpool.

He sneaked in at the back post to volley home Tsmikas’ free-kick from the left wing as Benfica’s defensive line switched off.

After 73 minutes, the visitors equalized when Grimaldo picked out Yaremchuk on the edge of the box, who dashes through and around Alisson before putting the ball into the back of the net.

The goal was first disallowed due to offside, but after a closer examination, the VAR ruled that there was no offside.

Benfica tied the game at 3-3 after eight minutes. Following a throughball from Mario, Nunez smashed a shot from the left side of the box into the bottom-right corner.

But it wasn’t enough to secure victory for the visitors who fought so hard as the Reds go through to the Champions League semi-final on aggregate score.

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