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Sunday, December 4, 2022

Liverpool 3-3 Benfica (agg 6-4): Jurgen Klopp’s heavily rotated side avoid Anfield shocker

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Taking a 3-1 advantage into the second-leg, Jurgen Klopp opted to rotate and it was the called upon Ibrahima Konate who put the home side in-front at Anfield.

The defender met the impressive Kostas Tsimikas’ corner with a towering header just after the twenty minute mark.

Benfica, however, threatened to make a game of it and did look to have the kind of pace to trouble Liverpool’s high defensive line. When Goncalo Ramos was first to a loose ball and duly slotted past Alisson to level the scores on the night, Klopp may well have been frustrated heading into the break.

After the interval, however, his team went through the gears. A comedy of Benfica errors allowed Diogo Jota to cross for Roberto Firmino to score a tap-in before the Brazilian made the most of some awful marking to score a lovely cushioned volley from a Tsimikas free-kick.

Still, that only caused the earlier threats of Benfica pulling off what would have been a remarkable comeback – one of the most shocking in Anfield history – to turn into a full-blown assault.

Roman Yaremchuk would add a second for Benfica when the forward beat Liverpool’s high line and, unlike Darwin Nunez in the fist-half, his goal withstood a VAR check.

Nunez, who caused Liverpool’s defence problems all night, would get on the scoresheet to set-up a thrilling finish to the tie when an offside call to chalk off another goal off his tally was overturned.

The forward, one of the most in-demand Europe, would again score only to see it overturned as Liverpool squeezed through.

Unai Emery’s Villarreal await.

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