I’ll leave you with Andy Hunter’s match report from Lisbon. Thanks for reading, and good night!
Sadio Mane: “I scored a goal today, I am happy but the most important are the goals we scored. We are now waiting for the next match to get the job done at home.”
Andy Robertson: “It was a tough game, in the first half from the top, I created a good chance and could have gone two more. We wanted to keep it tight and unfortunately we did it. They scored a goal, raised the crowd, and got a little sloppy. The third goal was big but what We still have more to do.”
Manchester City 1-0 Atletico Madrid I mean, there is *a lot* resting on the second part of that particular tie.
The team scored five consecutive victories in the Champions League for Liverpool. They fluctuated in the first 25 minutes of the second half, but Diaz’s late goal got them close to enough shots in the final four minutes.
90 + 7 minutes: Henderson plays Jota, and Flachymodos stops this confrontation away from Benfica with a fine block.
90 + 4 minutes: Help Fabinho to his feet. I wonder if the concussion issue here will get in the way of his participation against Man City at the weekend – not that that’s the priority here. I imagine it would just sit outside the dying seconds.
90 + 2 minutes: Otamendi and Fabinho head down a free kick and both need lengthy checks. The Liverpool man looks a little worse.
90 + 1 minute: We’ll see three minutes added while those minutes run out.
89 minutes: Gomez and Milner replaced Alexander-Arnold and Keita.
They’ve got a third, and now they’re probably sealing their tie! Keita intercepts in midfield and pushes forward and slips off Diaz. Vlachodimos slips past a bit with ease, slips into the house and absolutely loves the boos from Benfica’s followers. Liverpool had just stepped things up in the last few minutes, and made it important.
87 minutes: Ramos is replaced by Joao Mario instead of Benfica.
86 minutes: And now Alexander Arnold’s engine loops are spinning over Weigl. Robertson delivers well again from the corner, but just behind all heads.
85 minutes: The gutta blow deflects wide. Liverpool look like they wouldn’t mind a third goal now. Alexander Arnold’s corner kick was well defended.
83 minutes: Alison *almost* slips away on an awkward turn past Rafa Silva. It looked for a while as if he had lost control of the ball.
82 minutes: Liverpool come back to life, but after defending a cross kick from Henderson, Diaz misses his shot from the second. Benfica bring Yarmchuk, the Ukrainian, to Everton.
81 minutes: And now a free kick won by Liverpool in a similar area. Robertson will deliver…but Nunez is back in his own six-yard box to shake his head away.
78 minutes: Jota tries to outrun Otamendi down the left, but doesn’t win. Free kick received.
76 minutes: slower spell. There was not much in this half. I mean Liverpool will take that even if the second half is consistent for them.
73 minutes: I thought Liverpool would be fourth so far, once they opened the scoring, but that didn’t happen in this half and Benfica went up ahead as well.
72 minutes: I’ve never seen the Van Dijk/Nunez incident again but there’s a loud school of thought Benfica should have gotten a penalty there. Van Dijk had an arm, but the VAR said no.
69 minutes: Man City leads Atletico 1-0 thanks to Kevin De Bruyne.
67 minutes: Nunez away down the left! And it has acres to contend with! But he can’t imagine a crack in his left foot, and checking inside Van Dijk, he stumbles into a pile – not for the first time. No penalty for too much noise; Badly lost position.
65 minutes: Alexander Arnold’s radar is starting to show up today and finds Robertson with his latest sighting, diagonally laser-like in the box. Robertson is in an area similar to the one from which he resided the second Diaz, but his cross is cut off.
63 minutes: Benfica’s pace is about a billion times higher than it was before the interval. Keita thinks he still has a lot of pace for Taarabt, and these days he’s been recast as a hardworking midfielder to be booked.
61 minutes: It can and should be 2-2! Benfica separated from the men. Everton has a man on his right but he can also line up an obvious fault from 18 yards…but Alisson saves down! And Klopp is not messing around now: Firmino, Jota and Henderson come in instead of Mane, Salah and Thiago.
60 minutes: Darwin [Nunez] The left for Benfica looks like a natural choice,” Gary Byrne tweeted. Not bad.
58 minutes: We’ll see Jordan Henderson, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota soon, which doesn’t surprise me at all. Thiago is the last to hit a stray pass, and soon thereafter he was booked. What a contrast with the first half of Liverpool.
55 minutes: Liverpool are trying to find their former groove. Benfica looks like a monster faster than the ball now. The next goal, if we get a goal, will be very interesting … and Nunez tries to save it, as he was found deep in the penalty area through a good Silva cross but I saw it wrong. This was a good 2-2 chance actually.
52 minutes: Nunez catches Thiago’s foul, now, but runs off target.
51 minutes: Well Well. Adel played for Benfica because, despite his superiority, he kept trying. They took advantage of a mistake they raised the roof!
They got dirty – very dirty! Konate filters him from a right-sided cross pass and lets her pass through…leaving Nunez to control cleverly and finish in style. The game, unexpectedly, is on!
47 minutes: Alexander Arnold allows Konate to pass under his foot. Liverpool certainly won’t get dirty here.
Can Benfica make this fun?
“The guard is known here in Lisbon as Odysseus,” Written by Tim Stappard. “But Achilles in defense may help him.”
What happens in Manchester City against Atletico? Rob Smith knows:
Konate, Mane and many problems at all for Klopp’s team and his companions.
45 minutes: Konate denies Nunez on the one hand, and Salah can make it three at the other end after another great ball from Alexander-Arnold but Flashodemos saved it, then Silva returned to the penalty area for Liverpool from a half decent position. Phew.
44 minutes: Mane finds space in the move for the 1,000th time but a pass to Diaz is a bit delayed and the Colombian is crowded.
42 minutes: A few of you pointed out that there was a fair amount of nominal determinism in the 23rd minute…
41 minutes: “The only flaw in the Liverpool game so far: Fabinho’s knee slip failed as he ran to congratulate Konate on his goal,” Peter Oh correctly notes.
40 minutes: “I may regret saying this, and yet, like a Windsor knot, this tie is finished,” Kiaran Boland writes.
39 minutes: Diaz, still whistling, would love a target and try to hit it—but it fades 20 yards away.
37 minutes: Alisson makes a speculative effort from Everton with ease. Benfica will need something here because a two-goal deficit, or worse, looks like curtains.
36 minutes: Sorry, Benfica, but this game will shoot 100% as you expected.
Yes, that would probably be a tie. But what a goal! Alexander-Arnold sends a *magnificent* 50-yard ball over the defense to Diaz, who has the presence of mind for a perfect header extension through Mane…who finishes the match with confidence.