Could Liverpool secure passage to the Champions League semi finals? Here’s Anthony (@anthonymarkmcav) with the answer.
Jesus (2′) // Salah (56′), Firmino (77′)
THEY’VE ONLY GONE AND DONE IT.
Liverpool have reached the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2008 and they’ve done it in magnificent style. Chelsea, Arsenal, Man United, Spurs and Wigan are the only teams to beat Man City three times since 2013. Liverpool have managed to do that in one season, in the space of four months, twice in the Champions League, on the biggest stage of them all. The Reds are bloody lovely.
Before the game, Manchester City embarrassingly tried to respond to Liverpool’s insane coach welcoming last week with a guy shouting down a microphone before some fans clapped as players got off the team bus…
The subtitles for this read:
“MAKE SOME NOISE FOR MANCHESTER CITY! [muted applause]” https://t.co/kR7YuwsrSk
— anthony stonelake (@anthonymarkmcav) April 10, 2018
The game started in typical Liverpool fashion…Embed from Getty Images
Conceding early to put all the fans on edge.
Raheem Sterling capitalised on Virgil van Dijk failing to play to the whistle to get in behind the Liverpool defence before squaring the ball to Gabriel Jesus, who then simply slotted the ball home.
The next 43 minutes was a mess. Liverpool seemed all over the place, yet somehow held on to reach half-time at just 1-0 to City. It could have been much worse for the Reds with Leroy Sane arguably having a goal wrongly disallowed for offside. Bernardo Silva hit the post thanks to a Dejan Lovren deflection yet the Reds couldn’t string five passes together in the first half.
Half-time is when everything began to change. Pep Guardiola managed to get himself sent to the stands for arguing with the referee about the decision to rule out Sane’s goal, that left City leader-less and without direction. Jurgen Klopp smelt blood.
Immediately in the second half, Liverpool looked more sturdy, more likely and more secure. After a period of unbearable tension Liverpool managed to get a breakthrough none other than the Egyptian King himself, Mohamed Salah. He won the ball in the box following some tremendous work from Sadio Mane, rounded the keeper and lifted the ball over the last defender to bring the score to 4-1 on aggregate to the Reds.
Embed from Getty Images
At this point City needed to score four more goals, and with 20 minutes left they looked completely disheartened, with no motivation to push on.
With 12 minutes to go the final nail on the coffin was slammed in when Roberto Firmino crisply and coolly curved the ball past Ederson to take the score to 2-1 on the night. 5-1 on aggregate.Embed from Getty Images
Nothing City did from that point even troubled Liverpool. The Reds waltzed towards full-time with the semi-finals on the horizon and looking on hopelessly from the stands, Pep knew there was nothing he could do to change the fortunes of his faltering City side that has now had three straight defeats in all competitions, with two of said defeats coming against Liverpool.
Danny Ings came on, ran around, don’t think he touched the ball but he was only there for four minutes, but who cares? Mo Salah’s on 39 goals this season now and has been responsible for 50 goals all-in-all.
Big props to Trent Alexander-Arnold too, who after a dodgy week has managed to pull out two of the best Champions League performances in the season’s competition in back-to-back games against the Premier League’s champions elect.
Liverpool will now go onto the semi finals of the Champions League for the first time in a decade, with Roma already joining the Reds after turning round a 4-1 deficit to beat Barcelona. They’ll be joined by Real Madrid or Juventus and Sevilla or Bayern Munich when the semi-final draw is made on Friday.
Thanks so much for reading! I’d just like to say, I’m taking part in this year’s Football Blogging Awards, and I need YOUR help to win at AllyPally next month. Click here to tweet your vote for me! Thanks in advance!