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UEFA Championship

Liverpool 3-3 Benfica (6-4 agg)

Liverpool made it through to the Champions League semi-finals following a hectic return leg.

Under a spectacular 6-4 aggregate victory over a Benfica side that would not lie down and exit the competition quietly.

The Reds, therefore, remain in contention for four trophies this season, and they are just 180 minutes away from another European final – Villarreal awaits Klopp and company in the final four.

While today’s visitors proved a menace on the break, over the course of both legs, they could not match Liverpool’s attacking might and will now be left to concentrate on domestic matters.

Starting lineup:

LIVERPOOL (4-3-3): Alisson; Joe Gomez, Ibrahima Konate, Joel Matip, Konstantinos Tsimikas; Naby Keita, James Milner, Jordan Henderson; Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino, Luis Diaz.

BENFICA (4-2-3-1): Odisseas Vlachodimos; Gilberto, Nicolas Otamendi, Jan Vertonghen, Alejandro Grimaldo; Julian Weigl, Adel Taarabt; Diogo Goncalves, Goncalo Ramos, Everton; Darwin Nunez.

Goals:

LIVERPOOL LEAD! For the second week in a row, Konate opens the scoring for Liverpool – rising highest neat the penalty spot to power a header past Vlachodimos and into the bottom corner! The hosts are 1-0 up on the night, and it is now 4-1 on aggregate: they have one foot in the last four!

BENFICA LEVEL! Out of nowhere, Benfica has equalised, as Ramos is picked out by Goncalves inside the area and drives a low shot past Alisson into the bottom-left corner. It’s 1-1!

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Liverpool 3-3 Benfica (6-4 agg)

LIVERPOOL LEAD AGAIN! Putting his side three goals in front on aggregate, Firmino takes advantage of an error by Vlachodimos, whose mistake ultimately sees the ball fall to Jota. The Portugal international then crosses for his Brazilian colleague to tap home from close range! So it’s 2-1 to Liverpool; 5-2 overall!

FIRMINO FIRES IN A THIRD! Liverpool goes 3-1 up with ease, as Benfica’s defensive line switches off, and he ghosts in at the back post to volley home Tsmikas’ free-kick from the left flank. It is now 6-2 on aggregate: party time at Anfield!

BENFICA, GET ONE BACK! The VAR says there is no offside, so Yaremchuk’s goal – in which he rounded Alisson before slotting the ball into the back of the net – will stand. So now, it’s 3-2 to Liverpool on the night!

BENFICA LEVEL! It is now 3-3 at Anfield, as Nunez powers a shot from the left side of the box into the bottom-right corner, following a through ball from Mario. But, remarkably, it’s 6-4 on aggregate in this wide-open tie!

So, what’s next?

Without much time to absorb their progress in Europe’s elite competition, Liverpool’s relentless schedule rolls on towards the weekend, when they contest the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City at Wembley.

Meanwhile, Benfica must bounce back from this disappointment quickly as they face arch-rivals Sporting on Sunday.

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