Liverpool 3-3 Benfica (Agg 6-4): Player scores as rotated Reds seal spot in final 4
Liverpool booked their place in the Champions League semi-final with an enthralling 3-3 draw with Benfica on Wednesday, securing a 6-4 win on aggregate.Jurgen Klopp made seven changes to his lineup, benching heavy hitters Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Thiago, Andy Robertson and Fabinho all benched ahead of this weekend's clash with Manchester City.
Liverpool did their finest to manage the possession early on, however Benfica's threat on the counter was clear. A run from the hazardous Darwin Nunez triggered problems early on, prior to Everton's shot from range wasn't too far away from Alisson's top corner.
Both Darwin Nunez and Everton threatened to open the scoring early on, but it was one of the Reds' changes, Ibrahima Konate, who did the honours. The centre-back increased greatest from a corner to do what he did recently and put Liverpool ahead after 20 minutes.
Nunez had the ball in the back of the net almost straight after with a scrumptious chip over Alisson, however VAR correctly ruled the goal out for offside.
The Liverpool pressure continued as the half advanced. Diaz drew an outstanding save from Odysseas Vlachodimos, before a last-ditch block from Jan Vertonghen rejected Roberto Firmino from point-blank range.
That block proved crucial as Benfica went down the other end and scored simply a few moments later on. Gonçalo Ramos roared past Alisson and made it through a prolonged VAR check to tie things up after 32 minutes.
Alex Grimaldo had to be alert to save a certain Diaz goal with an excellent interception, before Naby Keita supplied the final highlight of an amusing first half as he fired wide from range.
A brochure of errors from the Benfica backline gifted Firmino a goal 10 minutes after the break. Vlachodimos spilled a regular conserve and a bad clearance from Jan Vertonghen sent the ball out to Jota, whose cross was gleefully tapped home.
Quickly prior to the hour mark, Liverpool highlighted the big guns as Salah, Fabinho and Thiago entered the fray, and they integrated to trigger problems for the Benfica defence almost instantly.
The 3rd came through Firmino 65 minutes in. Some stunning Benfica defending from a Kostas Tsimikas free-kick gifted the Brazilian with another basic finish from close range.
Liverpool looked like they had actually taken complete control of the game after that goal however, against the run of play, Benfica pulled one back through Roman Yaremchuk, who needed yet another check from VAR to verify his great strike on the counter.
With eight minutes to go, Nunez made it through yet another VAR check to tie things up, and he drew an exceptional save from Alisson just minutes later on with a ferocious volley from range.
Benfica continued to push in search of what would have been an excellent success in isolation, however Liverpool managed to slow the speed of the game down.However, we still had time for 2 more VAR checks. Sadio Mane and Nunez both had the ball in the back of the net late on, but the hectic assistant didn't require long to scratch either off.
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