Player ratings as Luis Diaz inspires Reds to first leg win

Goals from Ibrahima Konate, Sadio Mane and Luis Diaz gave Liverpool an important victory in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Benfica in Lisbon.

Konate and Mane had given the Reds a 2-0 first-half lead, before Darwin Nunez capitalized on a defensive error to score in the 49th minute. The irrepressible Diaz then put the match beyond question with a third in the 88th minute.

Liverpool started brilliantly, with Diaz causing problems for Benfica from the start. The former Porto player created the first chance of the match inside the opening three minutes, beating his man down the left before sending a cross into the area. Naby Keita came out of midfield to catch him, but was unable to contain his next header.

Five minutes later, the Reds came close to scoring the first goal. A wonderful interplay between Mane and Mohamed Salah, including a cheeky backheel from the former, saw Salah drive into the goal on the right side of the penalty area. However, Alex Grimaldo was on hand to control his goal-scoring effort, turning the ball around for a corner kick.

The barrage continued in the 11th minute when Salah became the provider for Keita, whose shot from the edge of the box was clumsily cleared by Odysseas Vlachodimos. It wasn’t pretty, but the goalkeeper did the right thing.

Leave a Comment