Manchester City v Liverpool – story of the match
Second-half goals from Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino killed off any hopes of a City fightback.
Liverpool survived a Manchester City onslaught to reach the Champions League semi-finals on a controversial night at the Etihad Stadium that saw Pep Guardiola sent off.
Second-half goals from Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino killed off any hopes of a City fightback after an early Gabriel Jesus strike, securing a 2-1 victory and a 5-1 aggregate success in a compelling quarter-final.
Premier League leaders City completely dominated the first half as they attempted to salvage the tie after last week’s 3-0 loss at Anfield.
Tweet of the match
Here’s Salah’s oh so important goal. Clever little bugger. pic.twitter.com/i6u3EO8PlM— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) April 10, 2018
It takes a goalscorer to know a goalscorer and Gary Lineker was full of admiration for Mohamed Salah’s crucial away goal for Liverpool against Manchester City.
Star man – Virgil van Dijk
The Holland captain recovered from a nightmare start after just two minutes when his error led to City’s goal when he lost possession under pressure from Raheem Sterling. From that point, however, he stood up to the barrage which came his way and inspired others to do the same. His organisational and leadership skills – plus a large slice of luck – were part of the reason Liverpool reached the break only one down and then almost comfortably saw out the second half.
View from the bench
Pep Guardiola has been sent to the stands for the second half after clashing (again) with referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz... pic.twitter.com/3ywfaQOP7x— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 10, 2018
Pep Guardiola’s argument with referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz at the half-time whistle, marching onto the pitch to both pull his players away from the official and then remonstrate himself, left his side without guidance for the second half after he was sent to the stand. It left Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp to boss the technical area and, without Guardiola calling the shots and urging on his players, City failed to reach their heights of the first half.
Referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz has history with City after being criticised by Pep Guardiola for not awarding them a penalty shortly before Monaco took a 2-1 lead in a Champions League last-16 clash last season. He also awarded Napoli two penalties when they met City in the group stages earlier this season. Some of his first-half decisions angered City’s players and their manager – not least the questionable offside ruling for Leroy Sane’s ‘goal’ – but that frustration ultimately backfired on them. It has to be said Liverpool were not entirely happy with some of his decisions either.
Manchester City: Ederson 7; Kyle Walker 7; Nicolas Otamendi 6; Aymeric Laporte 6; Fernandinho 6; Raheem Sterling 7; David Silva 7; Kevin De Bruyne 7; Leroy Sane 6; Bernardo Silva 7; Gabriel Jesus 6. Substitutes: Sergio Aguero (for Silva, 66) 6; Ilkay Gundogan (for Bernardo Silva, 74) 6.
Liverpool: Loris Karius 6; Trent Alexander-Arnold 7; Dejan Lovren 6; Virgil van Dijk 8; Andrew Robertson 6; James Milner 7; Georginio Wijnaldum ;7 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 6; Mohamed Salah 7; Roberto Firmino 6; Sadio Mane 6. Substitutes: Ragnar Klavan (for Firmino, 81) 5; Nathaniel Clyne (for Alexander-Arnold, 81) 5; Danny Ings (for Salah, 89) 5.
Who’s up next?
Tottenham v Manchester City (Premier League, Saturday, April 14)
Liverpool v Bournemouth (Premier League, Saturday, April 14)