UEFA Champions League results: Manchester City and Liverpool secure their place in the semis

UEFA Champions League - April 13
Liverpool's Ibrahima Konate celebrates scoring his side's first goal during the Champions League quarterfinal second leg soccer match between Liverpool and Benfica, at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Wednesday, April 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

The UEFA Champions League closed the quarterfinals on Wednesday, April 13 with the clashes Liverpool vs Benfica and Atlético de Madrid vs Manchester City. Both English teams had grabbed the lead in the first leg, with Liverpool leading 3-1 and City trailing 1-0. The two teams that dominated the first 90 minutes were expected to go out and do the same, but there were several surprises before the Premier League teams confirmed their ticket to the UEFA Champions League semifinals.

UEFA Champions League results: Atlético de Madrid and Manchester City did not bruise

UEFA Champions League - Atlético de Madrid vs Manchester City
Atletico Madrid’s Yannick Carrasco, left, challenges Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez during the Champions League quarterfinal second leg soccer match between Atletico Madrid and Manchester City at Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, April 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Atlético de Madrid needed to win at home, thus it had to adapt its strategy from the one shown in the first leg, when it had to reverse roles and attack rather than defend.

The game started with the ball going back and forth in both areas, but without a clear play from either side.

The first scare came for Manchester City in the 13th minute when Phil Foden received a blow to the head and medical assistance had to be called in. The player managed to recover and continued on the field.

The English team did the same as in the first half, attacking and looking for an opponents’ mistake, but they were unable to do so and the game remained 0-0 at halftime.

At the start of the second half, Frenchman Antoine Griezmann took a chance that was dangerous for Atlético, but the defense prevented his shot from going into the net. Other attempts followed but the ball still could not find its way into the goal.

In the 65th minute, the Belgian Kevin De Bruyne went off injured and Raheem Sterling came on in his place, thus announcing that Pep would continue looking for a goal. However, Atlético managed to dominate the midfield and create some chances in the following minutes, notably Rodrigo De Paul’s effort that went wide to the right after he had just joined the field in the 70th minute.

The “colchonero” team’s attacks became incessant, but the score did not change as the minutes went by.

The game heated up in the final stage and the referee added nine more minutes. Both teams created dangerous situations; however, the score remained 0-0, with City ensuring their spot in the semifinals thanks to their first-leg lead.

UEFA Champions League results: Liverpool and Benfica starred in goal fest

UEFA Champions League - Liverpool vs Benfica
Benfica’s Goncalo Ramos scores his side’s first goal, confirmed by a VAR decision, during the Champions League quarterfinal second leg soccer match between Liverpool and Benfica, at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Wednesday, April 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

Liverpool was the clear favorite in the clash against Benfica, not only because of what they did in the first leg, where they won 1-3, but also because of the offensive display that has characterized the team led by Jurgen Klopp.

As predicted, it was the English team who took the lead on the scoreboard, just as they did in the first 90 minutes. Ibrahima Konate scored the game’s first goal in the 21st minute, which seemed like déja vu.

Darwin Nez scored for the Portuguese team a few minutes later, but the linesman raised the flag and the goal was disallowed.

Liverpool took the ball again and started to attack, but they did not represent a significant risk. Benfica did not give up and took the ball and, in the 32nd minute, Goncalo Ramos made it 1-1. The play was reviewed by the VAR due to possible offside, but the action was ruled valid.

At halftime they were tied in the match, but the aggregate score still favored the English 4-2.

The English side had 60% of the possession in the first half, and despite the numerical advantage the team did not relax and tried to score another goal in the second half. Roberto Firmino made it 2-1 and 10 minutes later he made it 3-1.

The aggregate score was 6-2 in favor of the Premier League side and it seemed an impossible task for the Portuguese. Even though there was a question of offside, the VAR eventually credited the goal to Roman Yaremchuk in the 73rd minute, bringing the score to 3-2.

In the 83rd minute, Darwin Núñez brought Benfica a little closer, putting the score at 3-3, even though the aggregate score was 6-4 in favor of Liverpool.

Before the 90 minutes were over, Sadio Mané’s goal was disallowed for offside and, in the added time, the same thing happened with a goal scored by Darwin Núñez, so there were no more changes in the scoreboard.

Despite their best efforts, Benfica failed to achieve the feat and it will be Liverpool who will advance to the UEFA Champions League semifinals.

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Written by Rocio Robles

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