Liverpool 3-3 Benfica (6-4 agg): Champions League quarter-final, second leg – as it happened | Champions League

16:55

FULL TIME: Liverpool 3-3 Benfica (agg 6-4)

Well, that was eventful! Benfica go out with their heads held high; Liverpool are through to a semi-final showdown with Villarreal!

Benfica’s forward Darwin Nunez reacts at the final whistle.
Benfica’s forward Darwin Nunez reacts at the final whistle. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images

17:31

Andy Hunter was at Anfield tonight, and his report has landed. Thanks for reading this one. Nighty night!

17:30

He’s then asked about Liverpool’s opponents in the semi-final. “If I could analyse Villarreal right now, it would be really strange. What would I have done last week, when we play Manchester City and Benfica? I saw the result, they were very impressive. I have only picked up pieces, but who kicks out Juventus and kicks out Bayern deserves to be in the semis, so they are really good. And they have an extremely experienced manager who is the king of the cups, it is unbelievable what Unai Emery is doing. When we play them, we will be ready, but give me a little time to prepare properly!”

17:27

Jurgen Klopp’s verdict, as told to BT Sport. “The day when we qualify for the Champions League semi-finals and I am not happy, please come here and knock me out, because that makes no sense! We made seven changes for good reasons, played a really good first half, scored goals, I really liked a lot of things, we were 3-1 up … and this last line never played together, and it is little details. It’s really difficult. We did not have 100 percent mindset but it is not important, because if we played the best game of the season tonight, it wouldn’t make it more likely for us to get to the final. We got through and I am really happy.”

17:08

Jordan Henderson speaks to BT. “I think we’d want to do better overall, but we started the game well and could have scored one or two more goals. It was really comfortable but we’re disappointed at the goals we conceded. We knew it was going to be tough. We got through to the next round which is the most important thing.”

17:02

Benfica go up to their fans in the Anfield Road end and soak up the love. They battled to the very end, and for the want of a mistimed run here, a few inches there, could have had another goal or two. But Liverpool’s tightrope act of an offside trap did enough. Liverpool should certainly have had at least a couple more themselves, but the final ball was lacking on a couple of extremely promising breaks. It matters not to Jurgen Klopp, though, whose side make it through to their third Champions League semi-final in five seasons. They throughly deserve to do so over the piece, but Benfica made them play to the very last whistle all right.

Benfica fans cheers their players.
Benfica fans cheers their players. Photograph: Jon Super/AP

16:55

FULL TIME: Liverpool 3-3 Benfica (agg 6-4)

Well, that was eventful! Benfica go out with their heads held high; Liverpool are through to a semi-final showdown with Villarreal!

Benfica’s forward Darwin Nunez reacts at the final whistle.
Benfica’s forward Darwin Nunez reacts at the final whistle. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images

16:55

90 min +5: They’ve done that all right! A low cross into the Liverpool box from the left. Nunez sticks out a leg and guides the ball across Alisson and into the bottom right! But for the second time tonight, his goal is chalked off for offside.

Darwin Nunez of Benfica scores a goal but it is disallowed for offside.
Darwin Nunez of Benfica scores a goal but it is disallowed for offside. Photograph: Paul Greenwood/Shutterstock

16:53

90 min +4: Benfica have kept Liverpool honest until the very end, though.

16:53

90 min +3: Salah tries a curler into the top left. Not far away. As the ball disappears into the Kop, the home fans finally feel confident enough to belt out a chorus of You’ll Never Walk Alone.

16:52

90 min +2: The fans chant the name of Origi, who will probably for the off in the summer. He’ll not be forgotten in a hurry, given the catalogue of important goals he’s scored.

16:51

90 min +1: In the first of five added minutes, Firmino is replaced by Origi, while Benfica swap Gilberto and Everton for Gil Dias and Andre Almeida.

16:49

90 min: Salah sashays into the box down the inside right. He draws three men, reaches the corner of the six-yard box, and rolls across for Mane, who slams home. But he’s miles offside.

16:48

89 min: Liverpool play some possession football. Tsimikas, quite the character, juggles the ball out on the left, the Greek Jim Baxter. You have to admire the audacity.

16:46

87 min: Benfica pour forward. Liverpool sit back. The majority of Anfield falls nervously quiet. The away fans are taking up the slack. They are giving it plenty!

16:44

85 min: Nunez looked offside to the naked eye, but Konate’s trailing foot kept him live. Liverpool try to steady the ship by hitting back with a goal of their own. Salah and Firmino combine down the inside-left to win a corner, from which Thiago blazes over from 25 yards. That’ll have knocked someone’s hat off in the Kop. That was travelling, too!

16:43

83 min: … and Benfica nearly hit Liverpool with a double whammy, as Nunez creams a shot towards the bottom left from 20 yards. It’s heading in, and travelling some, too. Alisson does extremely well to get down and save with a strong hand. This really is game on!

Benfica’s Darwin Nunez reacts after being denied by Liverpool keeper Alisson.
Benfica’s Darwin Nunez reacts after being denied by Liverpool keeper Alisson. Photograph: Jon Super/AP

16:42

GOAL! Liverpool 3-3 Benfica (Nunez 82); agg 6-4

This isn’t over yet! Nunez puts the ball in the Liverpool net for the second time, but this time it counts! He’s sprung clear down the middle, draws Alisson to the edge of his box, and dinks over the keepr and into the bottom right. A VAR check for offside, but it’s good, and suddenly this is game on!

Benfica’s Darwin Nunez slots the ball past Liverpool keeper Alisson to score their third goal.
Benfica’s Darwin Nunez slots the ball past Liverpool keeper Alisson to score their third goal. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters
Benfica’s supporters celebrate.
Benfica’s supporters celebrate. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images

16:40

81 min: Mane tries to find Salah with a crossfield pass. The ball flies out for a goal kick. Liverpool have played some fine football tonight, but some of the work in the final third has been lacking.

16:39

79 min: Tsimikas battles down the left and slips Mane into the box. Mane cuts back for Salah, who tries to set Firmino up with a cushioned backflick. Firmino has to adjust his feet, and though he manages to get a shot away, it’s weak and blocked.

16:37

78 min: Benfica send on Paulo Bernardo, in place of Goncalo Ramos.

16:36

77 min: Tsimikas wins a corner down the left and takes it himself. Thiago sends a shot through a crowded box, the ball somehow hitting nobody and bobbling harmlessly out for a goal kick.

16:35

75 min: Salah tears down the right in acres. He’s got Mane clear in the middle, but his pass inside is underhit and allows Otamendi to slide in to intercept. That should have been a fourth. Liverpool have wasted some big chances tonight, though it doesn’t look like being costly.

16:34

74 min: Now it’s the Benfica fans who are giving it plenty. Another Benfica goal would certainly put the cat among the pigeons.

16:33

GOAL! Liverpool 3-2 Benfica (Yaremchuk 72); agg 6-3

Benfica have the ball in the net. Yaremchuk is pinged clear down the middle, rounds a hesitant Alisson on the left, and slots. The flag goes up for offside to cheers … but VAR takes a look, and Gomez was playing him on. Game on? Surely not?!

Benfica’s Roman Yaremchuk rounds Liverpool keeper Alisson before slotting the ball home.
Benfica’s Roman Yaremchuk rounds Liverpool keeper Alisson before slotting the ball home. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

16:31

71 min: Everton is good to continue.

16:30

70 min: Everton goes down. Behave yourself, they’re four points clear of the dropzone now. Anyway, the man in question has taken a knock, and requires a once-over by the trainer.

16:27

68 min: Tsimikas reaches the byline on the left and sweeps a cross to Salah on the right. Salah cushions a header down for Keita, who drives wide right of the goal. Liverpool don’t look in the mood to declare.

16:26

67 min: Diaz departs to warm applause as Mane comes on. Benfica swap out Taarabt for Joao Mario. The home fans, meanwhile, as their favourite new song ringing around Anfield explicitly states, feel fine.

16:25

GOAL! Liverpool 3-1 Benfica (Firmino 65); agg 6-2

A free kick 35 yards out, just left of centre. Tsimikas takes, looping it over the Benfica back line towards Firmino, who opens his body and sends a sidefoot volley whistling into the right-hand side of the net.

Roberto Firmino scores his second, and Liverpool’s third, goal.
Roberto Firmino scores his second, and Liverpool’s third, goal. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images
Roberto Firmino celebrates with Kostas Tsimikas after scoring Liverpool’s third goal.
Firmino celebrates with Kostas Tsimikas. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

16:23

63 min: Salah knocks the ball down the right past Grimaldo, who puts the shoulder in to block. For some reason, the referee – who has let plenty go this evening – waves play on here too.

16:21

62 min: Diaz romps down the left and tries to stand one up for Keita in the middle. He gets the cross all wrong. Benfica clear. Nunez comes back on.

16:20

61 min: Nunez clatters into the advertising hoardings, and for a minute, Benfica are down to ten as play goes on in his absence. The physio comes over to check what’s what.

16:19

60 min: A lovely flowing Liverpool move. Thiago sprays wide right for Salah, who feeds Gomez on the overlap. Gomez cuts back for Keita, whose low shot pinballs through to Firmino. An attempted backflick doesn’t come off. Benfica clear.

16:18

59 min: Nunez attempts a Van Bastenesque volley from a wide position on the left. Nope. The ball sails softly into Alisson’s arms.

16:17

57 min: That assist is Jota’s last act of the evening. He’s one of three Liverpool changes. Henderson and Milner also depart; Fabinho, Thiago and Salah come on.

16:16

GOAL! Liverpool 2-1 Benfica (Firmino 55); agg 5-2

Keita bursts into space down the middle. He feeds Diaz, who should break into the box and score. He takes a heavy touch and Vlachodimos comes out to smother. He should claim, but the ball pings off his legs. Vertonghen, facing his own goal, hoicks a panicked ball to the Liverpool left. Jota sends it straight back in, and Firmino taps home. What a fiasco from a Benfica point of view!

Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino scores their second goal.
Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino scores their second goal. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images/Reuters
Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring their second goal with Luis Diaz.
Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring their second goal with Luis Diaz. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

16:12

53 min: Liverpool stroke it around the back. Benfica aren’t pressing them right now. It’s a stand-off.

16:11

51 min: Diaz and Firmino latch onto a loose ball on the edge of the Benfica box. Both juggle with it. Neither can quite get it under control. Eventually Firmino has a whack, only to smack his effort into the back of Diaz. Liverpool are not quite clicking at the moment.

16:09

49 min: Yaremchuk hares after a long pass down the right. Alisson is forced to race out of his box to blooter clear. Anfield is pretty quiet right now. A two-goal lead is never quite enough, as Real Madrid nearly found out last night.

16:06

47 min: Diaz wins a Liverpool a corner down the right. Nothing much comes of it. A fairly low-key start to the half.

16:04

Liverpool get the second half underway. They’re kicking towards the Kop in the second half, which will please the superstitious among their fanbase. Benfica have made a change: striker Roman Yaremchuk has come on for Diogo Goncalves.

15:51

Half-time entertainment.

15:50

HALF TIME: Liverpool 1-1 Benfica (agg: 4-2)

There’s just enough time for Goncalves to have a dig from distance. Easy for Alisson, the flag goes up for offside anyway, and that’s the end of a highly entertaining first half. Liverpool are still in control of this tie, but Benfica are far from finished.

15:49

45 min +2: Diaz dribbles infield from the left. The ball breaks to Henderson, who rolls into the direction of Gomez, steaming in from the right. It’s an ersatz facsimile of the Pele / Carlos Alberto dynamic in the 1970 World Cup final. Gomez connects well, but his shot flies straight at Vlachodimos.

15:47

45 min +1: The first of three extra first-half minutes passes by without incident.

15:46

45 min: Keita has another go from distance. This effort is much better, a daisy-cutter sent towards the bottom right from 25 yards. It curls wide of the post at the last. Had that stayed on a true line, the keeper wasn’t getting to it.

15:45

44 min: Now it’s Benfica’s turn to stroke it around confidently. Liverpool aren’t exactly clinging on, but they won’t be unhappy to hear the half-time whistle, I’ll be bound.

15:43

42 min: Liverpool try to settle everyone down with a little bit of sterile possession in the midfield. Whether they calm anyone in the stand is a moot point, but they keep Benfica at arm’s length for a couple of minutes.

15:42

40 min: The goal, quickly followed by that spurned opportunity, has given Benfica more belief. Anfield is suddenly a more pensive place. Meanwhile here’s Mark Lloyd: “The presence of Darwin in the Benfica line up nudges me to ponder that if the great Divock doesn’t call his autobiography ‘On The Species Of Origi’ it’ll amount to a tragic oversight.”

15:40

38 min: A huge chance goes begging for Liverpool. Milner’s long ball down the middle finds Firmino clear. Vlachodimos is in no man’s land. Firmino thinks about the lob, but instead squares for Diaz, who shapes to slam home from six yards … only for Grimaldo to slide in from nowhere and take the ball off his toe! Diaz hops around in impotent frustration. The resulting corner comes to nothing.

15:37

37 min: Keita tries to score from 35 yards! Full marks for ambition, though the ball’s currently flying over Stanley Park.

15:37

35 min: The ball did indeed come off Milner as it was played through … and Ramos was onside anyway. Nothing wrong with that goal whatsoever. Liverpool will be annoyed with themselves, though, as that came out of nowhere.

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