After two incredible quarter-final ties and two incredible games of football, Liverpool reached the semi-final for the first time since 2008 and added their name to a Champions League record.
Manchester City played the first half of the second leg like there was never going to be another 45 minutes of football in the world. They were dominant and attacked the Liverpool goal with an animalistic rage and precision that they have come to become known for this season. But the Liverpool defense stood resilient, despite conceding an early goal to the relentless attack.
However, in the end, Manchester City failed as both Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino scored two very crucial away goals much to the happiness of the ecstatic away fans. But like any massive clash, the game was marred with controversies with the referee ruling out a Leroy Sane goal offside, Pep Guardiola sent off for fighting with the referee and Liverpool were lucky to be trailing by only one goal at half-time.
During his post-match interview, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was pleased with his team’s performance in the end but not happy with their first-half showing. “It was quite difficult tonight, especially with the start with that wonderful goal we served them on a plate,” Klopp went on to tell Goal.com. “But, to be 100 per cent honest, I expected something like that to happen. You need to react in the right way. I was not overly happy at half-time to be honest.
We were not compact enough and too many second balls went to City. If we gave them those second balls, they were already in the right place to make three or four passes. I knew it would be difficult but we still did it, which is fantastic!”
Liverpool are the first side EVER to beat Guardiola 3 times in one season ❤️ pic.twitter.com/wZT1a9sLYW
— Empire of the Kop (@empireofthekop) April 11, 2018
Disciplined and defending are certainly not two words one uses on a Liverpool defense especially this season, with the Reds conceding the most goals among the top five teams in the Premier League table, but that’s exactly what they were. While they were a few hicupps and mistakes here and there, but Virgil Van Dijk and Dejan Lovren were rocks in the Liverpool back-line. But with their two away goals, Liverpool have set the single-season record in the Champions League for most goals scored by an English side.
They outdid Manchester United’s record of 32 goals scored during the 2002-2003 Champions League campaign, where the Red Devils went on to reach the quarter-finals. There they were eventually ousted by Real Madrid in an incredible tie with a 6-5 scoreline in favor of the Los Blancos, thanks to a splendid hattrick by Ronaldo de Nazario at Old Trafford.
The Reds currently have 33 goals in the competition, with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino tied with 8 goals apiece, Sadio Mane with 7 and former Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho with 5. Jurgen Klopp went on to further add “I liked how we reacted immediately after conceding, but then we didn’t play enough football in the right way. We were kept under pressure. City took all the risks they could take. We needed a bit of luck and some disciplined defending in terms of our formation.”
The better team went through the quarter-final clash last night, but Liverpool will certainly have a tough time ahead. AS Roma beat Barcelona 3-0 to show the world that they are certainly not pushovers while both Bayern Munich vs Sevilla and Real Madrid vs Juventus still need to play their ties tonight.
Things will certainly get interesting in the near future.