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UEFA Champions League: Liverpool advances in semi-finals with 3-1 win over Benfica

UEFA Champions League: Liverpool advances in semi-finals with 3-1 win over Benfica

Lisbon (AFP) - Liverpool put the English club ahead in the Champions League semi-finals by returning with an outright victory from the Portuguese stronghold Benfica 3-1 in the first leg of the quarter-finals on Tuesday.

UEFA Champions League: Liverpool advances in semi-finals with 3-1 win over Benfica  Lisbon (AFP) - Liverpool put the English club ahead in the Champions League semi-finals by returning with an outright victory from the Portuguese stronghold Benfica 3-1 in the first leg of the quarter-finals on Tuesday.  French Ibrahima Konate (17), Senegalese Sadio Mane (34), Colombian Luis Dias scored Liverpool goals, and Uruguayan Darwin Nunes scored Benfica's goal (49).  Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp made six changes to the squad that played the match against Watford in the English Premier League at the weekend, most notably in the front line, where Dias, who was transferred to the team in the last winter transfer market, came from Porto and Mane instead of Portuguese Diogo Jota and Brazilian Firmino.  Benfica continued to face the English teams in the quarter-finals of the continental competition, because he failed to win over them in nine matches (including today's match), losing seven times and drawing twice.  Liverpool entered the match in the best condition after winning the last 10 matches in a row in the local league, and also won the first seven matches in the Champions League this season before losing once at home to Inter Milan 0-1, but that did not prevent it from qualifying for the Quarter-final win, away from home, 2-0.  Liverpool is looking for a historic quartet (League, Cup and League Cup in England and the Champions League) or to follow in the footsteps of Manchester United, the only English club to win the Champions League, League and Cup treble in the 1999 season, after winning the League Cup this season at the expense of Chelsea.  A first chance for Egyptian Mohamed Salah when he received an elegant ball with the heel from Mane, so he winced with the age of the foot, but the Benfica goalkeeper pushed it to a corner (10).  Liverpool quickly translated its advantage when the Scottish international Andy Robertson kicked a corner kick that Konateh flew and headed into the net (17), scoring his first goal since his move to his team before the start of the current season.  Ironically, Konate was playing the 12th match in the Champions League, knowing that the first was against Leipzig in Germany and against Benfica in particular in 2019.  Liverpool succeeded in consolidating its progress when Trent Alexander-Arnold passed a great forward ball towards Dias inside the area, turning it vertically towards Mane, who was lurking in front of the goal, to easily follow it into the net (34).  Dias, the Liverpool player who moved the most with a dribbling break, fired a powerful creeping ball from outside the area that passed to the right post (38).  Salah missed the opportunity to add the third goal after he was alone with the Benfica goalkeeper and shot the ball with a weak left, and the latter nullified its effect at the end of the first half.  Benfica showed a different face in the second half, after abandoning his caution and managing to reduce the difference when Konate erred in dispersing a cross, which reached Nunes and hit it in the far corner of the goal of Brazilian goalkeeper Alison Becker (49), raising his score to 5 goals in the continental competition this season.  Nunes scored the game's only goal against Ajax in the final price to give his team a ticket to qualify for this round.  And Klopp made three substitutions at once when he took out Mane, Salah and Spaniard Thiago Alcantara and involved Firmino, Jota and his captain Jordan Henderson, respectively, after an hour.  Benfica almost equalized when the ball reached the Brazilian Everton, and he fired it from the outskirts of the region, a powerful creeper that was pushed away by his compatriot Allison (64).  Dias finally settled the result when he received a through ball from Guinean Naby Keita, evading the goalkeeper and putting the ball into the net (87).  Before the match, Benfica's record at home in European competition was 11 wins, 5 draws and just 2 losses in the last 18 matches.


French Ibrahima Konate (17), Senegalese Sadio Mane (34), Colombian Luis Dias scored Liverpool goals, and Uruguayan Darwin Nunes scored Benfica's goal (49).


Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp made six changes to the squad that played the match against Watford in the English Premier League at the weekend, most notably in the front line, where Dias, who was transferred to the team in the last winter transfer market, came from Porto and Mane instead of Portuguese Diogo Jota and Brazilian Firmino.


Benfica continued to face the English teams in the quarter-finals of the continental competition, because he failed to win over them in nine matches (including today's match), losing seven times and drawing twice.


Liverpool entered the match in the best condition after winning the last 10 matches in a row in the local league, and also won the first seven matches in the Champions League this season before losing once at home to Inter Milan 0-1, but that did not prevent it from qualifying for the Quarter-final win, away from home, 2-0.


Liverpool is looking for a historic quartet (League, Cup and League Cup in England and the Champions League) or to follow in the footsteps of Manchester United, the only English club to win the Champions League, League and Cup treble in the 1999 season, after winning the League Cup this season at the expense of Chelsea.


A first chance for Egyptian Mohamed Salah when he received an elegant ball with the heel from Mane, so he winced with the age of the foot, but the Benfica goalkeeper pushed it to a corner (10).


Liverpool quickly translated its advantage when the Scottish international Andy Robertson kicked a corner kick that Konateh flew and headed into the net (17), scoring his first goal since his move to his team before the start of the current season.


Ironically, Konate was playing the 12th match in the Champions League, knowing that the first was against Leipzig in Germany and against Benfica in particular in 2019.


Liverpool succeeded in consolidating its progress when Trent Alexander-Arnold passed a great forward ball towards Dias inside the area, turning it vertically towards Mane, who was lurking in front of the goal, to easily follow it into the net (34).


Dias, the Liverpool player who moved the most with a dribbling break, fired a powerful creeping ball from outside the area that passed to the right post (38).


Salah missed the opportunity to add the third goal after he was alone with the Benfica goalkeeper and shot the ball with a weak left, and the latter nullified its effect at the end of the first half.


Benfica showed a different face in the second half, after abandoning his caution and managing to reduce the difference when Konate erred in dispersing a cross, which reached Nunes and hit it in the far corner of the goal of Brazilian goalkeeper Alison Becker (49), raising his score to 5 goals in the continental competition this season.


Nunes scored the game's only goal against Ajax in the final price to give his team a ticket to qualify for this round.


And Klopp made three substitutions at once when he took out Mane, Salah and Spaniard Thiago Alcantara and involved Firmino, Jota and his captain Jordan Henderson, respectively, after an hour.


Benfica almost equalized when the ball reached the Brazilian Everton, and he fired it from the outskirts of the region, a powerful creeper that was pushed away by his compatriot Allison (64).


Dias finally settled the result when he received a through ball from Guinean Naby Keita, evading the goalkeeper and putting the ball into the net (87).


Before the match, Benfica's record at home in European competition was 11 wins, 5 draws and just 2 losses in the last 18 matches.

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