Salah scores as Liverpool reach Champions League semi finals
Salah and Firmino scored the goals as Liverpool won 2-1 away at Manchester City to progress to the Champions League semi finals with a 5-1 aggregate win, following a first half that saw an early Gabriel Jesus goal and a wrongly disallowed Leroy Sane second.
Manchester City XI: Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Laporte; Fernandinho, Silva, De Bruyne; Sterling, Bernardo, Sané; Jesus.
Liverpool XI: Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Mane, Salah, Firmino.
Manchester City took an early lead when Virgil van Dijk was caught in possession out wide leading to the ball falling to Fernandinho who played a perfectly weighted through ball to Raheem Sterling who then squared the ball to Gabriel Jesus leaving him with the simplest of tasks to break the deadlock.
After suffering wave after wave of attack from City, Liverpool had a stroke of luck when Sadio Mane caught Nicolas Otamendi very late near the halfway line leading to a coming together between the Senegalese forward and Ederson.
Towards the end of the first half, Liverpool’s luck continued as Karius’ punch ricocheted off of James Milner and back over the goalkeeper before being tapped in by Leroy Sane. The officials deemed the goal to be offside and so disallowed it, and while Sane was standing in an offside position the ball did not come off of a City player last and so the goal should have stood. Due to the ensuing protests, City manager Pep Guardiola was sent to the stands for the remainder of the game.
After soaking up almost an hour of City pressure, Liverpool finally produced an attack of their own when Sadio Mane broke through a gap in the defence and although the ball was won from him, it fell to Salah who rounded Ederson before chipping the ball exquisitely over Otamendi and into the back of the net. The goal meant that Liverpool had an away goal and so City needed to win by four in order to progress.
Liverpool put the nail in the coffin when Otamendi was caught in two minds and as a result lost the ball to Firmino who was played in by his own tackle before providing a composed finish to make it 2-1 on the night and 5-1 on aggregate. This goal took the sting out of the tie as the Reds held out to win 2-1.
The result means that Liverpool have progressed to the Champions League semi finals where they will meet one of Roma, Bayern Munich/Sevilla and Juventus/Real Madrid. They will find out who their opponents are on Friday 13th of April.
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