Advantage For Liverpool And Man City Ahead Of Second-Leg Quarter Final UCL Clash.

English sides Liverpool and Manchester City secures vital first-leg win in the quarter-finals of the  Champions League which give them an advantage going into the return-leg.

Liverpool secured a 3-1 victory in Portugal over Benfica in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night.

The match which went down at the Estadio da Luz, saw Ibrahima Konate nodded in his first ever Liverpool goal from a corner in the 17th minute before Sadio Mane tapped home in the 35th minute as the one sided first-half was ended. 

A mistake from Konaté as he got his legs tangled when trying to make a clearance in the 49th minute allowed Darwin Núñez to score his 28th goal of the season

The goal from Nuñez significantly changed the game for a long period, as a resurgent Benfica suddenly looked the better side with Liverpool completely out of sorts. 

Former Porto winger Luis Diaz made his return to Portugal and was booed relentlessly having signed for Liverpool in January. 

He responded perfectly with a crucial late goal in the 87th minute to spare the blushes of Ibrahima Konate, which gave Jurgen Klopp's a 3-1 lead over Benfica to take back to Anfield for their Champions League quarter-final second leg.

On the other hand, Man City were made to work really hard as they managed to secure a 1-0 win at home against a resilient Atletico Madrid side on Tuesday night.

Having beaten Man United in the last 16 of the competition, Atletico were back in Manchester to take on City in the quarter final first leg.

Whilst United didn’t offer much going forward, Atleti’s previous win was built around their staunch defence but it was going to have to be much stauncher against Pep Guardiola’s team.

City expectedly dominated the game from start to finish, with the home side having 71% of the ball compared to Atleti's 29%.

Atletico displayed some quite exquisite defensive resolve which led them to an unwanted statistics as the La Liga Champions not register a single shot throughout the game. It was the first time a football club has failed to make an attempt on goal the entire match in 10 years.

The last team to register no shots/attempts in an entire UCL match is Cyprus side APOEL in 2012 when they faced Real Madrid.

Diego Simone tactics seemed to be working most especially in the first half, as the Premier League champions struggled to create much in the way of clear chances.

With time ticking away, and Simeone looking set to get the 0-0 draw he wanted to take back to Spain next week, Guardiola was able to change the match with a triple substitution.

The two times Champions League winning manager brought on Jack Grealish, Gabriel Jesus and Phil Foden in the 68th minute, and it changed the game.

Man City then eventually found a breakthrough via their talisman Kevin de Bruyne

The Belgian struck in the 70th minute, beating Jan Oblak after fine pass from Phil Foden, and the game was eventually decided by that one moment of magic.

It was the first Champions League goal of the season for the 30-year-old Belgian playmaker.

Foden's introduction caused Atletico multiple problems on the right, taking advantage of a broken and tiring defensive wall.

Simeone was quick to admit that Pep Guardiola somehow outsmarted him in the first leg. According to the Spaniard, the fact that Guardiola made three like-for-like subsitutions completely disoriented his team, who eventually conceded with just 20 minutes to go. The Atletico boss also suggested that his side would attempt to attack more in the second leg at the Wanda Metropolitano. 

It's advantage for Man City, who head into the second leg in Spain next week Wednesday with a narrow lead, although Guardiola would have liked to have more of an advantage to take to Madrid, whilst Simeone will believe his team can score at least one at home.

No comments

Powered by Blogger.